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History of 125 years of 

First Evangelical United Brethren Church 

Naperville, Illinois 


Published by 


Naperville, Illinois 

Printed by 


Naperville, Illinois 

Cover designed by 
Helen Gamertsfelder Barrett 


to past, present, and future members of 
to the followers as well as the leaders! 


I. Beginnings 1 

II. Environmental Settlings 11 

III. Schismatic Reverberations 19 

IV. Unions, Organizations, and Buildings . 23 

V. Social Gospel 39 

VI. Liturgical Leanings ... ... 61 


Project "A TIME FOR REMEMBRANCE - 125" could 
never have left the launching pad without the solicited 
and voluntary help of many persons through corre- 
spondence, interviews, and questionnaires. A list of 
such persons will be found following the bibliography. 

We wish in particular to express our gratitude to 
fellow-workers on the History Committee — Ruth Gam- 
ertsfelder, James Stein, and Paul Washburn — for sug- 
gestions and criticisms and for faithfully attending the 
bi-monthly meetings on Monday mornings through a 
winter with weather reminiscent of that endured in 
early years in Naperville. 


One of the best ways of understanding what something is, is to be 
told what it is not! This book is not an erudite and solemn ecclesi- 
astical account of the first 125 years of First Church in Naperville. 
It is, rather, an informal story of people and events connected with 
this church as against the background of the college and the town. 

Naturally in such an undertaking as this we have had information 
pouring in from many sources. Our biggest problem has been one 
of elimination and selectivity. We hope you will realize our dis- 
appointment in not being able to include many other names worthy 
of mention. We assure you that such omissions mean lack of space 
only — not of appreciation! 

Along with the informality of subject matter, you will notice the 
unconventional treatment of some items of bibliography and the 
almost total lack of footnotes. It would be much too formal and 
space-consuming to attempt to give the sources for all material used. 

So, as persons who have labored for decades to persuade would- 
be youthful scribblers to be accurate and authentic and to avoid 
plagiarism, we do therefore solemnly affirm (without our tongues in 
our cheeks) that in this book we have earnestly endeavored to follow 
our own admonitions! 

Elizabeth Wiley 
Mildred Eigenbrodt 

Naperville, Illinois 
September ,1962 



Before the coming of the families responsible for the beginning 
of the First Evangelical Chnrch in DnPage County, Naper Settle- 
ment was already a pioneer community. In the early 1830 's, Bailey 
Hobson and Joseph and John Naper had built their first rude cabins 
of logs and mud, with a single high-up window covered in winter 
time with a gunny-sack or lard-greased paper. By 1835 they and 
their Yankee and New England neighbors had set up trading posts 
with the Indians and built saw mills and grist mills, first run by horse 
power, later by water power. (The river here at that time carried 
much more water than now, and was rightly called the "Roaring 
DuPage".) The trouble with the Indians already had been peaceably 
settled after the Black Hawk War, in another one of those "Christian" 
treaties which drove the Red Man to the barren lands west of the 
Mississippi ! 

Among these early immigrants came several Evangelical families 
in 1836, followed a year later by a number of others from Warren 
County, Pennsylvania. These were the first German-speaking people 
in this part of the country. 

Like many of the other pioneers, they must have been intrigued 
with the beauty of the Northeast Illinois prairie and the potentialities 
for making a good living. One early pioneer in a letter declared that 
this was "the best country he had ever seen for a rich man or a poor 
one, a lazy or industrious one. ' ' Some of these early settlers couldn 't 
understand why this fertile prairie land had been neglected for so 
many years, when they remembered that Marquette and Joliet had 
discovered these grass plains and wide rivers as long ago as 1673 — 
nearly 160 years earlier! Little blue stem, big blue stem, and Indian 
grass, from three to nine feet high, rolled on for mile after mile. As 
much of the timber land already had been "preempted" before 1837, 
these German families settled on the prairies, not knowing at that 
time they had the best of the bargain. 

In 1837 a group of fifteen Evangelicals organized and met in the 
homes of the members or in a school-house built earlier on Scott's 
Hill (now corner of Franklin and Washington). Strong feelings of 
neighborliness and hospitality existed among the various religious 
groups of the time — Congregationalists, Evangelicals, and Methodists. 

All were served at first by itinerant preachers or missionaries. Ser- 
mons were often more effective than elegant. One man, in defending 
one of these preachers for "slaughtering the King's English", re- 
marked, "Thank God, he slaughtered sin also!" The story is told 
of one of these preachers who had the "thirdly" part of his sermon 
blown away by the wind, and his ideas were so confused thereby that 
he abruptly came to a full stop. If people wouldn't come to church, 
the " exhort er" followed them home from the stores or mills and 
earnestly tried to bring about their salvation. 

Jacob Boas preached the first sermon to the Evangelicals in 1837. 
lie was sent as a mission minister, a circuit rider, from Ohio. The 
small congregation received Reverend Boas with great joy and happi- 
ness, lie stayed for six months, riding or walking courageously 
through inclement weather over unbroken terrain at times to cover a 
territory of 400 miles. Even then he was not satisfied with the distance 
covered, for at the end of that same year he wrote to friends in Penn- 
sylvania : "I could not, however, travel far about, because my horse 
was sick nearly all the time since I came here, consequently I could 
not make the circuit as large as I wished to do."* When he was called 
back to Ohio, he promised to send someone in his p^ace : but it was 
eight months before another circuit rider. Reverend M. Hauert, ap- 
peared. At this time all churches were finding it very difficult to recruit 
new ministers. In the course of his duties, Reverend Hauert, in this 
wide territory, preached as often as he could to the group here in 
Xaperville, who had become quite discouraged at being left so long 
without a minister. Some even talked of going back to Pennsylvania, 
so much did they miss their regular church services. A reporter on 
"The Naperville Clarion" writing in 1900 of these early times said, 
"We can easily see that the people in those days did not hear so many 
sermons as we do today, but they prayed more." Since it was thought 
at that time desirable to make an annual change of ministers, Reverend 
Hauert stayed only a year, as did many succeeding pastors. 

One of the most indefatigable preachers in these early times was 
John Seybert, elected bishop by the General Conference in 1839, 
meeting near Millheim, Pennsylvania. For the next twenty years he 
worked continuously for the Evangelical Association and for the God 
whom he served with humility and with his uttermost strength and 
somewhat limited talents. A recent authority on the history of the 
church writes: "None did more in molding the expansion and char- 
acter of the Evangelical Church in the midwest than Bishop John 

There were more travelling preachers than local preachers in 
1850. A preacher could be "located" because of personal or family 
reasons if his request seemed plausible to the conference members. 
He might beg off because of bodily infirmities if he could no longer 
withstand the rigors of horseback locomotion. 

Because of the failure of the revolution in Germany in 1830 against 
tyranny, many refugees fled to America. Here they were enticed by 
the tales coming from Illinois, and numbers of them joined their coun- 
trymen just west of the lake village of Chicago. By 1840 this Evan- 
better transited from the German. 

gelical congregation was large enough to undertake the building of 
the first church to be constructed in DuPage County. The people had 
very little money to contribute, but they donated lumber and labor. 
They cut down logs in the Big Woods west of town in the fall, and in 
the spring hauled them by ox-teams to the local sawmill. From this 
lumber and a load purchased and hauled from Chicago by the only 
man among them with a team of horses, they erected in 1841 the walls 
and roof of a small building on a lot given them by Captain Joseph 
Naper. As he was not a member of their group, this gift was another 
evidence of community cooperation. 

At the camp grounds east of Naper Settlement one Sunday 
■morning in early summer of 1849, Bishop Seybert was con- 
ducting Sunday Services for a large crowd attending the 
Illinois Conference of the Evangelical Association. As no 
building in the village was large enough to accommodate 
them, they were holding a "bush meeting." This was the 
same year when the 49'ers were going by on the plank road 
headed for the gold rush in California! What a contrast in 
motives for trekking! 

This Zion Evangelical Church faced the south on Van Buren, half- 
way between Eagle and Webster streets. Two doors led from it, with 
two or three steps in front of each, the east side for the men and the 
west for the women. Inside, a few steps led up to the low pulpit — 
from the east side, of course! (See sketch by Hannah Ditzler Als- 
paugh.) There was an aisle on each side and a division down the 
center of the plain unvarnished, unpainted seats separating the 
men from the women. A very small and humble structure, but these 
forefathers regarded it with pride and reverence. Happily they found 
the membership increasing so fast that four years later they had to 
build an addition. At this time a visit from Bishop Seybert was a 
great encouragement to the congregation. After the good bishop had 
given an inspiring missionary sermon in the fine newly-made-over 
church, $60.00 was presented in offering, and a "Missionary Aid So- 
ciety was organized in which the members pledged themselves to give 
at least a dollar a year for missions besides the regular missionary 
collections." The rapid increase in members was augmented later by 
the coming of many more German families from eastern Pennsylvania, 
largely Evangelicals. 

The next fifteen years were busy and progressive ones for the 
community in which this sturdy congregation was developing. Mem- 
bers of other religious groups, some alreadj' organized in the 1830 's, 
built their own churches during the 40 's and early 50 's — Congrega- 
tionalists, Methodists, Baptists, and Catholics. The Lutherans and 

Episcopalians found church homes a few years later. Representatives 
of most churches were interested in the project of a DuPage County 
Bible Society, established in 1841 with Reverend John H. Prentiss as 
I resident. This organization handled more than $15,000 worth of 
Bibles in a period of forty years — selling* some, giving away others. 

Successful revival meetings were held in the various churches. 
After one particularly outstanding series in the winter of 1848 in 
Zion Evangelical Church, even unbelievers talking on the street cor- 
ners remarked, "That Little church up here is a blessing to the town 
after all." People walked for miles to attend these meetings every 
evening and on Sunday too. One lady, Mrs. Kailer, used to serve food 
to the people who walked in from the country. 

The reading material found in the homes of these pioneer families 
consisted nearly always of the Bible and an almanac, with a few scat- 
tered copies of Fox's "Book of Martyrs 1 ', "Lives of the Apostles", 
"Pilgrim's Progress", Rollin's "American History", and Weem's 
"Life of George Washington." With the establishment of more 
schools; including the Catholic Parochial School and several other 
private schools; with the printing of the first newspaper in Naperville 
("The DuPage County Recorder"); and with the incorporation of 
"The Naperville Library" in 1845, with its thirty subscribers — much 
greater opportunities for reading became available to the people. 
Even though "The DuPage County Recorder" lasted less than a year, 
several other attempts were made to publish a better newspaper until 
finally one came out in 1856 that showed a big improvement over its 
predecessors — "The DuPage County Journal." Gradually in the 
homes of the Evangelicals had begun to appear "Der Christliche 
Botschafter", first published in 1836, and a little later the English 
paper, "The Evangelical Messenger", appearing first in 1848. 

As to physical comforts, even from the beginning these people 
were lucky as far as climate and food were concerned. Though the 
winters were sometimes severe, with huge drifts of snow making com- 
munication almost impossible, there was plenty of sunshine to make 
the climate as a whole a healthful one. From the first there was no 
danger of starvation, with wild ducks and geese on the banks and in 
the water of the DuPage and many kinds of fish waiting to be caught. 
Raccoons, rabbits, and deer roamed the woods. Quail, prairie chickens, 
and wild turkeys scattered through the tall grasses. 

As soon as the men could make plowshares that would break the 
tough matted roots of this virgin prairie land, they raised luxuriant 
crops of corn, wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, and potatoes. In the 
autumn between chores with their cattle and sheep and the harvesting 
of their crops, they roamed through the trees for walnuts, butternuts, 
and hickorynuts to store away for the winter before the chipmunks 
and squirrels beat them to it. In the spring and early summer the 
women hunted along the edges of the Big Woods for wild blackberries, 
raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. 

In 1853 Naperville was a town of 1200 inhabitants. Even then the 
ladies were an enterprising group. Before many of the swamps were 
drained, they fought the ague year after year with Soppington's pills. 

As there were practically no doctors, the women had much to do with 
nursing the community back to health after a severe epidemic of 
cholera in 1849 that took the lives of many people. They even got up 
fairs to earn funds for building plank walks for all the principal 
streets of the little town. Of the four district schools organized by 
this time, three of them were taught by women. 

As more and more people moved into Naperville and the surround- 
ing territory, there was an increased attendance at the various 
churches. In spite of the addition made to the Evangelical Church in 
1845, it again became too small to accommodate all the people who 
wished to attend services. The congregation erected a new church in 
1858-59 on the corner of Franklin and Center Streets, where the 
present church now stands. Jonathan Ditzler was the master-mind in 
this construction — its architect, carpenter, and financier. 

A visitor after one of the serial camp meetings in 1846 
urged that two improvements be made: "There ought to be 
more light to enable one to see the preacher's face at night; 
in addition, while it is a commendable thing to have a picket 
fence separating the brethren from the sisters during the 
meeting, why must the brethren use the fence as a hat rack?" 
It is the qualifying clause of concession beginning with 
"while" that we find most amusing today! 

Men hauled the bricks for building the walls of the forty-four by 
sixty-six foot structure from the old Buck place east of town where 
they had been made. As the Naperville quarries had not yet been 
opened, they brought the stone for the foundation from Lockport. 
The lumber came from Chicago and Lockport, including some "im- 
ported" white pine from which the pews and pulpit were made by 
hand by Jonathan Ditzler. This particular kind of wood had prob- 
ably been shipped to Chicago from farther north. There were no in- 
digenous evergreens in the Big Woods, where hickory, oak, maple, and 
walnut trees grew in abundance. The black walnut altar rail made a 
striking contrast with the white pine wood. 

The entrance to the church was through a door into the basement 
facing west, from which led two winding stairways to the auditorium 
overhead, the south for the women and the north for the men. In later 
years there were times of friendly rivalry between the two sides as to 
collection and attendance. This custom of separation was observed 
even into the next century. Mrs. Thomas Finkbeiner tells of her 
indignation at going to this Zion Church and finding herself and 
infant son sitting in one part of the church, her tall professor husband 
leaving her, to sit with the rest of the men. She says she had a big 
notion at that time never to go back ! 

As the 1841 building had already been sold to the Lutherans, 
regular services were held in the .Methodist Church just across the 
corner until the basement for the new church was completed. (Many 
years Later this kindness was returned when the Methodist Church 
suffered from a disastrous fire.) As there were no sidewalks on this 
corner at thai time, straw was used in the aisles to keep mud from 
being tracked in. then shoveled away in the morning. Finally, in spite 
of a severe winter, the Zion Church, that was to stand for half a cen- 
t ury, was completed at a cost of $7,000 and was dedicated by Reverend 
J. J. Esher in the spring of 1859. (For a long' time this was the only 
church in town not made 1 of wood ; consequently it was later referred 
to. often affectionately, as the "Old Brick Church.") Eight years | 
later, in 1867, a large, tuneful bell was hung in the tall steeple im- 
periously summoning the villagers and farmers to come to their beau- 
tiful new church home to sing and to pray. (In 1900 the steeple was 
Lowered for safety's sake, since many people had reported seeing it 
shake while the big bell was ringing.) 

During the first years in the life of the new church, several series 
of revivals and protracted meetings were held. Some of these people 
have written candid reports of the amount of time and energy neces- 
sary to bring about their conversion ! Often strange incidents en- 
livened the hours. Hannah Ditzler Alspaugh's parents told of a 
"rowdy" who exhausted the patience of the sexton whose job it was 
to keep order. He forcibly tried to eject from the church this willful 
"disturber of the peace" and had his thumb nearly bitten off! One 
good Evangelical sister, after living here for awhile, wrote back to her 
family about what she called "distracted" meetings. And so no doubt 
they sometimes w r ere ! 

According to a reporter in "The Clarion," however, writing of 
these times several decades later : ' l These brethren had glorious meet- 
ings. . . . Zion Church grew strong in faith and influence in this town. 
. . . Indeed it seemed as if the Lord took special pleasure in showering 
upon these people his richest blessings." (Maybe an Evangelical 
reporter!) However, an historian of the county of that time says: 
"No other church of the county met with such a degree of prosperity 
as Zion Church of Naperville. " (Historian not an Evangelical!) 

Both the Abolitionist and the Temperance Causes had strong ad- 
vocates in Naperville as early as 1850. Much earlier in the century 
the Evangelical Discipline had first exhorted, then commanded, its 
members against participating in the sale of men and women as 
slaves. A. A. Smith (who later became the first president of North- 
western College) was an ardent abolitionist as early at 1839. In 1847 
the General Conference drafted a strong statement against this traffic 
in human lives "under any pretext whatever." 

The first temperance organization was formed in the fall of 1850, 
and at a later period "included among its more than 300 members 
every prominent business and professional man in Naperville." As 
early as 1839, the Evangelical Association forbade its members to 
participate in the sale and use of intoxicating liquors. Several other 


organizations were established at varying periods of time, the strong- 
est of which was "The Blue Ribbon Club" in 1879, succeeded two 
years later by "The Naperville Temperance Alliance," with Professor 
H. H. Rassweiler of North- Western College as its first president. 

But these Germans in this new territory were more than frugal, 
hardworking farmers and shopkeepers, interested in religion and 
temperance and freedom for all in America. They were also concern- 
ing themselves with other aspects of culture and education. This was 
in some ways a revolutionary attitude, as they had to overcome a 
strong pioneer opposition to formal education. They also had to op- 
pose an attitude within the church itself that the untrained minister 
stood in closer relationship to God and received greater blessings from 
him than the educated person. When a vote was taken throughout the 
Evangelical Association on the desirability of establishing an insti- 
tution of learning connected with the church, the proposition was 
roundly voted down. 

Mrs. Bertha Finkbeiner remembers distinctly seeing couples 
walking out to the '"protracted meetings" at the Camp 
Grounds one mile east of Naperville, with the man stalking 
on ahead and the woman meekly following behind. And this 
in the first decade of the 20th century! 

Shortly after this, individual conferences began working in their 
own localities, and in 1850 the Illinois and Wisconsin Conferences 
began discussing the possibility of establishing a college here in the 
Middle West, closely related to the Evangelical churches but defin- 
itely not to be a "preacher factory." This prejudice against the spe- 
cial education of ministers prevailed for another decade, with state- 
ments such as the following appearing in some of the church papers : 
' ' There is danger that the ' feed ' will be placed so high the lambs can 't 
get it." Ministers so trained were designated as "puny debilitated 
creatures with full heads and very empty hearts who can talk fluently 
about the stars but have never adored the God who made them." 
(Shades of Milton's 'Lycidas'!) 

In Des Plaines in the Spring of 1861, at a second meeting of mem- 
bers from the two conferences, together with representatives from In- 
diana and Iowa, Plainfield won out above other towns for the location 
of the new college. A Board of Trustees was appointed, with Reverend 
Esher as financial agent. The faculty was to consist of a president 
and a small corps of professors "who should be competent to teach the 
Ancient and Modern Languages, Mathematics, and the Moral and 
Natural Sciences." And so on the eve of the Civil War was brought 
into being an institution with a lofty vision of uniting a liberal arts 
education with religious teaching. Through sheer courage and perse- 

verance this college lived and flourished. Others with the same ideals, 
established near the same time, have reluctantly closed their doors. 

* * * * 

At the time of the Civil War, the state of Illinois was proud to 
have her sons enter a conflict against slavery, a conflict which she, 
among the western states, had been the first to support. An early his- 
torian tells of the noble record of the soldiers from here who '''took 
part in the most decisive campaigns and battles of the war, and those 
who have returned and are now living are among our most highly- 
esteemed citizens — efficient in the arts of peace as they were formid- 
able on the field of battle." A glance through the records of the 
Infantry and Cavalry Regiments shows the names of many Evangel- 
ical families. 

As was mentioned before, the Evangelical Association was ardent 
in its stand against slavery. The Illinois Conference of 1863 passed 
resolutions supporting the Union Cause and commending President 
Lincoln's proclamation for freeing of slaves. Likewise the General 
Conference in the same year expressed the support of the Evangelical 
Association in five lengthy resolutions, a copy of which was sent to 
President Lincoln. Two years later when the Illinois Conference met 
in February, 1865, resolutions of sympathy and thankfulness were 
written and mailed to Washington. By that time the conference mem- ] 
bers could say, "The Great Director of all things has of late given I 
our armies such decided victories, and consequently secured to the i 
cause of right the ultimate triumph." 

In that same year the General Conference decided not to continue j 
with its plans for sending two young men as medical missionaries to d 
India because of the Avar crises and financial difficulties resulting 
therefrom. One of these young men, Frederich Heidner, became Pro^ 
fessor of German at North- Western College, where he served for fifty 
years — perhaps laboring with young apostates here in an equally 
challenging situation ! 

Within a few weeks after the joyful ringing of church bells an- 
nouncing the end of the Civil War and the coming of the remaining 
soldiers to their homes, the whole town was thrown into shock and 
mourning for Abraham Lincoln. Church pulpits were draped in black 
and a special Day of Prayer was observed. The picture of the great 
Emancipator, draped with flags, was placed in front of the pulpit in 
the Zion Evangelical Church. 

Big revivals were held in several of the churches in the year fol- 
lowing the Avar. In the Brick Church a series of meetings lasted 
twelve weeks, some of the sessions continuing until midnight, "and in 
those clear and frosty Avinter nights the beautiful singing of the large 
congregation could be heard all over toAvn." An interesting story is 
told in the diary of a young man who for several Aveeks resisted the 
exhortations of the minister: "I sought all sorts of excuses. Finally, 
to head him off 1 said. 'I do not believe in sham shouting, such as is 
going on in your meeting'. 'What do you mean?' he asked. I replied, 

' There is L ; she shouts to order. She ahvays takes off her bon- 

iict. nicely folds her shawl, lays them back Avhere they will not be 


crushed and then steps in front like a theatrical performer and shouts. 
1 hate shams and always will'. 'So do I', the minister said, 'That shall 
never occur again'. And it never did." Later the young man became 
a strong leader in the church. 

The year 1870 is a very important date : first, in the history of 
Naperville ; second, in the history of North Central College ; and third, 
in the history of the Evangelical Association. The following is taken 
from Editor David Givler's "Naperville Clarion" at that time: 
"Every careful observer will not fail to take cognizance of the vast 
difference in the status of Naperville now and two years ago. The fall 
of '68 was the darkest period in the history of this village, arising out 
of our county seat troubles and intertestine strife. In those days . . . 
arrests, trials, indictments, and other annoyances were resorted to . . . 
The public offices were ransacked and the public records carried off 
to Wheaton ; public officers were tormented, threatened, cajoled, 
frightened, and persecuted in various ways, and an unpleasant, un- 
healthy state of things existed. . . . Now the 'Wheaton Illinoian' and 
the 'Naperville Clarion' agree to drop all differences that have kept 
the people of this county in a state of unfriendliness the past six 
years. ' ' 

If the bell in the steeple of First Evangelical Church should 
start ringing some bright sunny day in 1967 and peal one 
hundred times, don't be alarmed. It will only be celebrating 
a century of calling people to worship at this particular cor- 
ner in Naperville. 

In the same year North-Western College was moved from Plain- 
field to Naperville, partly because since 1864 this village could be 
reached by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad — a much 
more direct route of transportation from Chicago than Plainfield 
could claim. Of course the idea of extending a railroad all the way 
across the country to the Pacific was regarded as anything but prac- 
ticable, as was expressed a few years earlier in a letter written from 
California by Robert Naper : "I consider it one of the wildest and 
most foolish schemes that ever was seriously entertained by an intelli- 
gent people." The coming of the college to Naperville is important 
both for the college and for Naperville. The townspeople gave gener- 
ously of land and money for the new college. All the stores and busi- 
ness houses were closed on May 17 at the laying of the cornerstone for 
the new building. As many as thirty or even forty workmen were 
busy many days during the summer and early fall with the stone 
foundation, the carpentering, and the plastering, to get the building 
ready for the opening of school in the autumn of that year. An editor- 
ial in the Clarion later in the summer declared ' ' The workmen on the 
college are so anxious to get the building completed by the 4th of 

October (date set for opening) that they would gladly work Sundays 
if it wasn't contrary to the law and prophets." (Xo unions or eight- 
hour work days then!) 

Of equal importance is the close relationship which immediately 
strengthened between the college and the church. As the services were 
still being held in German at the Zion Church in 1870, some of the 
college faculty and students, as well as townspeople, organized an 
English-speaking congregation which met in the college chapel, now 
Smith Hall of Old Main. At this time in Evangelical conferences all 
over the country, references were frequently being made to the diffi- 
culties involved in various congregations in which the people wor- 
shiped in both the German and the English languages. This English 
Mission five years later was incorporated as "The Second Evangelical 
Church of Naperville", but was generally referred to as the "College 
Chapel Church." 

The story is told that soon after this many of the Evangelical 
farmers' sons in Zion Church began going to the Methodist Church 
to get even with some of the local girls who showed more interest in 
dating college men than in going out with them ! 

One of the interesting innovations in this College Chapel Church 
is expressed in the rather amusing resolution adopted by the Board of 
Trustees that same year: "Resolved that we will recognize and accept 
it as our duty to use every proper measure to maintain good order 
in our congregation during public worship ; but we will not assume the 
responsibility of separating, as to their sitting, families, ladies and 
gentlemen, who may come together, except in cases of misbehavior." 
(An awkwardly phrased sentence, but the meaning is unmistakable!) 

This resolution was entirely in line with the emphasis upon co- 
education which was being stressed at North- Western College. A re- 
porter from a Chicago paper upon visiting the campus shortly after 
that time came out with a long column statins* that here the ladies 
were even urged to take part in exercises of all kinds, both academic 
and physical. 

Another institution that has been closely associated with both 
college and church all through the years is the Evangelical Theological 
Seminary. Chartered in 1873 as the "Union Biblical Institute," it 
held its first classes in rooms at North-Western College in 1876 and its 
first commencement in 1878. The two-year term was not lengthened 
to its present ihree-year period until fifty years later. 




One citizen, referring to Naperville back in the 1870 's and 1880 's, 
wrote, "A fine old town of verdant gardens and friendly sharings. " 
Many oleanders in huge pots stood on both sides of front doorsteps 
along Chicago Avenue. Arbor vitae hedges, Persian lilacs, snowballs, 
and flowering quinces grew in front yards shaded by evergreens and 
maples. At rear porches w 7 ere Virginia creepers and honeysuckle 
vines. The lots were huge, with room for vegetable, herb, and berry 
gardens. The back fences were lined with elderberry bushes on the 
edge of the woods just outside. Again a quote from the "Clarion": 
1 ' One of the most beautiful parklike towns in the Midwest. ' ' A Naper- 
ville lady who spent her girlhood in Peoria still remembers how their 
local minister came back from a conference here with much the same 

Home decorations in the fall often consisted of pressed colored 
leaves and huge bouquets of prairie plants and grasses — blazing star, 
fever few, flowering spurge, purple prairie clover, rattlesnake master, 
and big blue stem and Indian grasses. As there was no thought of 
conservation in those days, wild flowers were often planted in yards 
and gardens. Children ate anything they found in the woods. One 
child says in her diary, "We could digest anything in those outdoor 
days." As a wit remarked, "Those were the good old days when meals 
were opened with a blessing instead of a can-opener." 

Frontier hospitality still abounded in the homes and churches of 
Naperville. Many people brought newcomers or strangers home with 
them from church services, concerts, or commencement exercises. The 
wife of Professor H. C. Smith (son of A. A. Smith, first president of 
the college) speaks of coming home from a college commencement 
without any guests. First time in her life that had happened. And 
this was nearly twenty-five years after she had come with her husband 
and family — and the college — from Plainfield to Naperville ! 

Many women found time to know their neighbors and plan various 
teas and sociables in this quiet little village. In addition they often 
belonged to the Civic Club, the Woman's Missionary Society, besides 
working for the Young Women's Christian Association at the college. 


Most of these organizations were interdenominational, and the meet- 
ings were held in the various churches and homes. Some of this same 
cooperation was already in evidence back in 1870 at the laying of the 

cornerstone for North- Western College. The singers participating in 
the services consisted partly of members from the Congregational and 
St. John's Episcopal Church choirs. 

One of the most important social events of the early 1880 's was 
the celebration of the Golden Wedding Anniversary of President 
A. A. Smith and his wife of North- Western College. There were many 
guests "from abroad" — according to the wedding pamphlet — from 
"Traverse City, Michigan: from Janesville, Wisconsin; from Norwich, 
Connecticut; etc." At least it would take more hours then to get to 
Naperville than would be needed today for a jaunt over from Europe! 
Letters and poems of congratulation poured in from all parts of the 
country where this famous couple had lived and worked. Lengthy 
Victorian hyperboles of congratulations were read on behalf of the 
children, the grandchildren, the brothers and sisters, the nieces and 
nephews, the faculty, the students, the alumni, the townspeople, and 
the bishops of the Evangelical Association. Music was "rendered" 
intermittently. The program must have "consumed" hours of time! 
( Everything was ' ' rendered ' ' and ' ' consumed ' ' in the ' ' elegant , 
eighties' 7 !) Here is a typical "regrets" received: "I never was in- 
vited to any gathering for which I had greater love and honor, and. 
from which I could expect more pleasure and satisfaction, and which ] 
I had so great a desire to attend, as the Golden Wedding to which you ' 
had the kindness to invite me." 

On the cultural side, music has always been an important factor 
of community and church life in Naperville. In the Naperville Cen- 
tennial Pamphlet, mention is made of a Naperville Brass Band as 
early as 1866. The Zion Church in 1869-70, in an effort to raise its: 
standard of singing, voted unanimously to discard "Strophen Singen" 
— that is, having the minister read the lines of the hymn and the con- 
gregation chant them after him. An amusing incident is related of a. 
minister who told his people. "Mine eyes are dim, I cannot see — I left 
my specs to home." The well-trained congregation chanted the lines 
back at him. In remonstrance he exclaimed, "I did not mean that you 
should sing! I only said my eyes are dim!" Again they chanted! 

North-Western College brought a new cultural center to Naper- 
ville. Some concerts and lectures continued to be held in Scott's Hall 
(second story of the building just north of the National Bank on 
Washington), but those now sponsored by the college and held in the 
chape] had wide acclaim from the townspeople as well. In its first 
year in Naperville the college purchased a Chickering Piano ($350.00). 
Professor II. C. Smith soon organized a "singing class" in the base- 
ment of Zion Church. All interested citizens were invited to join, 
and the class became ;i democratic community project. 

For nearly fifty years the musical activities of both the college 
and church were greatly influenced by the guidance of Professor 


Smith. He was elected both chorister and organist for the College 
Chapel Sunday School choir in 1870 and served in this capacity for 
many years. Several contemporaries in their diaries have written of 
this "flourishing choir" in the 1880 's and also of the church choir 
under the same inspiring leader. He even conducted Y.M.C.A. and 
Y.W.C.A. combined choruses in concerts in the chapel on Sunday 
afternoons. Of course there was no grand piano nor pipe organ, but 
'tis said that Professor Smith fairly inspired the small upright and 
the little reed organ! Sometimes the squeaky choir chairs could be 
heard above the music but no one seemed to mind. 

For twenty-three years William R. Hillegas, as secretary 
of the Zion (German) Sunday School, kept an accurate and 
detailed account of the attendance and money from each class. 
In the Record Book of 299 large pages (9Vi inches by 17 
inches) the lines are spaced one eighth of an inch apart, yet 
the writing is beautiful and legible. This museum piece is a 
fascinating old document written by a dedicated and meticul- 
ous person. 

(See illustration) 

In the Zion Sunday School at this same period an organ was occa- 
sionally rented for six months at a time, for $4.50. Also in the 1880 's 
this Sunday School bought new "double singing" books and gave 
away the "single" hymn books to the Lutherans. (In the "single" 
hymn books, only the melody of the music accompanied the words.) 

In 1899 a special meeting was called by the College Church to 
elect a choir master and also an organist. Those who sang in the choir 
must be resident members of the church and attend regularly. Also 
they must participate in both morning and evening services. The 
Standing Music Committee (the Pastor, the Organist, and the Choris- 
ter) were to report selections of music to the trustees for ratification 
of same before any music could be purchased. 

In 1903, $100.00 w T as added to the budget of this church for music : 
the Organist to receive $25 ; the Chorister, $25 ; the Organ-blower, 
$25 ; and the other $25 to be used for carefully selected music. 

During these decades while Professor Smith was fostering con- 
certs in the Zion and Chapel Churches, in the college, and in the com- 
munity, he also interested others in venturing into Chicago with him 
to hear Grand Opera and listen to Anton (not Artur) Rubinstein play 
the piano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Rubinstein's com- 
ments on this orchestra back in 1872 are most interesting: "Never in 
my life have I found an orchestra and a conductor so in sympathy 
with each other, or who followed me as the most gifted accompanist 
can follow a singer on the piano. There exists but one orchestra of 
sixty or eighty men which plays so perfectly, and it is known as the 


Imperial Orchestra of Paris, but they have no Theodore Thomas to 
conduct them. ,, 

Increasing numbers of people began attending Grand Opera con- 
certs as the years passed by, especially when such singers as Melba, 
Schumann-Heink, Patti ,and Scotti appeared on the programs. The 
Wagnerian Operas were particularly popular with the Evangelicals, 
as they presented no language barrier for many of them. Of course 
the pagan background was an insurmountable obstacle for more than 
a few, but not for all. They had no qualms, however, about listening 
to Paderewski ! 

* * * * 

But not all of life was colorful and cultural during these decades. 
There was still much discomfort and sickness caused by inadequate 
facilities and inclement weather. Rooms were poorly heated and ven- 
tilated. People often sat around with damp clothes and wet feet. 
Ladies especially had to be absent from church or college because of 
heavy snowdrifts they could not plow through with three or more 
long quilted petticoats. Diaries tell of extremely cold weather — some- 
times thirty degrees below zero — and of terrible blizzards. One sum- 
mer in the 1880 's a pelting hailstorm smashed windows in the college, 
the churches, and many houses, and destroyed all the young fruit. 
Only the half -ripe grapes were salvaged and made into jelly by house- 
wives all over town. At the Children's Prayer Meeting that week in 
Zion Church, the subject was "Hailstorms of the Bible." One lady 
had looked up fifty references. No wonder the weather was allotted 
considerable space in journals and diaries of the time ! 

Of course there was a prevalence of colds, grippe, and malaria, 
with the application of home-prescribed remedies : camphor or lemon 
in hot water, quinine, asafoetida pills, sage and peppermint tea, and 
paregoric. A poultice of powdered slippery elm was the most effective 
cure for a sty. 

There were at least two reasons for the use of home remedies : first, 
doctors were very few; second, incomes for most people were rather 
small. Salaries for either teachers or preachers in those days were 
not much — something around $500 to $700 a year. But of course we 
must remember the cheapness of food : butter, eleven cents a pound ; 
eggs, twelve cents a dozen ; milk, three cents a pint ; soupbone, five or 
six cents ; dressed five-pound chicken, twenty-five cents. Someone 
described those times as "the good old days when the butcher gave 
away liver, cut the bone out of steak before he weighed it, and gave 
away enough scraps to feed all the household pets." Those were the 
days of 10-cent paper money, pennies the size of quarters, huge silver 
dollars, and precious five, ten, and twenty dollar gold pieces. 

People in the town of Naperville, however, were also interested in 
life outside of their own community. Many persons watched the red 
glow in the East one evening in 1871, only to learn later of the terrible 
fire that had almost annihilated Chicago. Donations were "lifted" in 
the churches to help relieve the suffering. A decade later (1881), 
when a great forest fire in Michigan took the lives of many people and 
destroyed thousands of homes, money was sent to the Red Cross from 


Reverend Jacob Boas, 
first mission minister, 
1837. Served six months. 



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Zion Evangelical Church — 1842. Van Buren Ave., 
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as the "Old Brick Church." Bell installed 
in high steeple in 1867. 

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white pine by Jonathan Ditzler. Sketched by his daughter Hannah from 
her father's plans. 

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Zion Church. This fire came only four months after Clara Barton 
had organized the Red Cross. 

At Garfield's death in 1881, all the bells in town were rung for 
half an hour — the large one in Zion Church leading all the others. 
(This bell had been used as a fire alarm ever since 1870.) Scott's Hall 
was draped in white and black. The North-Western Glee Club sang 
at the Community Services. At Grant's death four years later there 
was a service of mourning at the college chapel, and one at Zion 
Church, with the same ringing of bells. 

One of the happy celebrations came with the installation of electric 
street lights. Before 1888, people carried kerosene lanterns when 
navigating many of the unlighted muddy streets. The "Naperville 
Clarion" recorded the event as follows: "Shortly after seven o'clock 
the lounge factory whistle sounded which brought people to their re- 
spective doors and by the aid of eighty-six incandescent electric lamps 
they saw the good old village of Naperville take her first step toward 
prosperity and fame. . . . Enthusiasm was wrought up to the highest 

* * * * 

Besides participating in all these various phases of community life 
during these last decades of the century, the people of Zion and 
College Chapel congregations were also helping in the development of 
several organizations within their own groups, both German and Eng- 
lish. The Sunday School had originated with the church back in 1837, 
just seventeen years after the organization of the first Sunday School 
Society in the Evangelical Association in 1820. One of the rules of 
that society read : ' ' The schools shall begin in the three winter months 
at half-past seven o'clock; and in the three spring and three fall 
months at six o'clock in the morning, and at one o'clock in the after- 
noon; to continue open at least two hours each time." 

Though the original rules had been considerably modified by 1837, 
yet with the scarcity of secular schools, children were particularly 
encouraged to learn to read and spell at the church schools. In 1840 
there was an enrollment of nearly 200 "scholars." Christmas pro- 
grams were given (in German, of course), and in the summertime 
picnics were held in the woods. Through the years there was a steady 
increase in numbers. 

A second Sunday School was organized in the College Chapel 
Church soon after its origin in 1870. Classes consisted of faculty, stu- 
dents, and some townspeople who preferred English services. The 
school was originally divided into three departments : Senior, Junior, 
and Infants. It is interesting to note the names of some of the classes 
in the last two departments. In the Junior : ' ' Busy Bees " 7 " Golden 
Links", "Crown Gems", "Bright Jewels"; and in the Infants: "Buds 
of Promise. ' ' They met in various classrooms of the college. Shortly 
after this, monthly dues for a member of Zion Sunday School were 
i reduced from ten to five cents. One way to offset friendly rivalry ! 

In her "Reminiscences" Miss Mary Bucks speaks of the "wonder- 
ful college Sunday School" back in 1878 with Professor H. H. Rass- 
weiler as the inspirational superintendent, with his "wonderful teach- 


ers 7 meetings." In the late 1880 's this Sunday School was expected 
to pay $15.00 yearly for the support of the church. The amount was 
raised to $25.00 in 1891, but four years later was reduced to $15.00 

It is rather interesting to note that up to the summer of 1878 the 
Sabbath Schools of various churches in Naperville were held at differ- 
ent hours, and a considerable number of children and young people 
were enrolled iu two or three Sunday Schools at the same time — a few 
even in four ! 

The yearly Sunday School picnics were still important social 
events. Spring must have come earlier in those days, for on March 28, 
1877, the two Naperville Evangelical Sunday Schools had an all-day 
joint picnic at the camp grounds one mile east of Naperville with 
several other nearby Sunday Schools of the same denomination. Many 
of the younger people walked out this Saturday morning starting at 
9 :30, carrying their basket lunches, and chanting favorite hymns as 
they mosied along. Housewives furnished enough extra food for the 
North- Western students. Lemonade and ice-cream were being sold at 
stands on the camp grounds even at that early date. A carefully 
worked-out program of music, Bible study, and "recitations" had its 
share of interest and devotion for several hours in the afternoon. 

The Christmas celebration was also a "highlight" of the year, 
with the tender stories and songs of the Christ-child, appealing to 
both young and old. Here again many hours were spent in preparation 
of a program which always included as many children as possible. \ 
At the end of the afternoon or evening these youngsters were starry- 
eyed and satisfied as Santa gave them each a paper bag containing an I 
orange, some peanuts, and perhaps a few old-fashioned chocolate ( 
drops ! 

Children love to feel they are an important part of any group or : 
organization with which they are connected. With this in mind, a . 
Children's Day program was presented for the first time in Zion 
Church in 1897, and has been observed annually ever since. 

In the 1890 's spelling books and reading books were almost as \ 
important in Sunday Schools as singing books and Bibles. Classes were j 
organized in which people could learn either German or English. In 
the Zion Church it w r as resolved in 1899 that as soon as $50.00 in 
birthday money could be collected in Sunday School, a library would 
be started. Two years later, in 1901, with $51.71, on hand, books were 
purchased — 1/3 German, 2/3 English. (And this was in the German j 
Sunday School, remember!) By 1906 the library contained 197 books. 

In the Chapel Sunday School, funds were also being collected for 
a library. In fact, libraries were sprouting up all over town at the 
turn of the century. In May of 1907, the Chapel Sunday School gave 
the collection for one Sunday to the Nichols Public Library, contrib- 
uted in 1898 by a public-spirited citizen, Professor J. L. Nichols. In 
1907, Carnegie Library was dedicated on the campus at North-Western 
College. Books were still too expensive for many families to buy, but 
more and more people these days w r ere beginning to read — just for the 
fun of it. Tennyson, Whittier and Longfellow were the favorite ro- 
mantic poets. Emerson was too erudite for many; Whitman, too 


shocking for others. And for those who were daring to read novels, 
Charles Dickens easily headed the list. Girls were shedding tears over 
too-good-to-be-true heroines like Elsie Dinsmore and boys had their 
ambitions fired by Horatio Alger — whose heroes suffered all kinds of 
hard knocks but always ended up on top ! 

The largest funeral (up to that time) ever held in First 
Church was that for Rev. Schutte in 1914. People from all 
parts of town and from every church in Naperville were 
there — those of his own middle-aged group, many older 
people, and many, many younger persons. On his tombstone 
in the Naperville Cemetery you will find engraved, as he 
requested, "He was a lover of children." 

In addition to wide-spread interest in Sunday Schools the Evan- 
gelical Association had long been concerned with missionary work. 
Committees had been appointed before the Civil War to investigate 
and report any preachers who neglected to perform their duty in the 
mission cause. There was great insistence upon money collected for 
missionary projects being spent for no other purpose whatever, no 
matter how worthy ! At least one Sabbath a year must be devoted to 
the missionary cause. With this in the background, it is not surprising 
to find a Woman's Missionary Society being established at Zion Church 
in 1881. Dues for the society were optional. Ten dollars purchased a 
life membership, which might be bought by men as well as by women. 
During the 1880 's the society increased its funds through voluntary 
contributions of boys who planted corn for sale, sawed wood, sold 
eggs, and did extra house chores for ladies in the community. "During 
these early decades (1881-1910), the main concern of this group of 
women was not so much to raise money to send missionaries as to 
create interest in missions and to offer prayers for the successful work 
of the missionaries." Social and cultural events crept in occasionally, 
but the main purpose continued to be religious. Some of the different 
studies year by year were on India, China, Japan, Africa, Siam, Mex- 
ico, Russia, and Hinduism. 

The motto of the organization, "A Woman's Missionary Society 
in every congregation and every woman a member," has never been 
realized, but meetings during these years were very wll attended. 
Closely affiliated with the adult organization was the Mission Band for 
Children, organized in 1885 by Mrs. H. C. Smith — the first organiza- 
tion of its kind in the whole denomination. One little boy came home 
almost crying because there was no marching and no band playing! 

There were various questions and issues with which the conferences 
of the Evangelical Association were concerning themselves at this 
time. One of these of course was the licensing of ministers. In 1878 


al a Quarterly Conference at Zion Church it was resolved "that all 
applicants for recommendation for a license to preach be required to 
exercise before the society before the pastor circulates a petition for 
recommendation. ' ' For a number of years a change of procedure was 
considered, but it was not until 1900 that a resolution was adopted 
to the effect that a Society (congregation) must know a candidate for 
two years as a member of the congregation before recommending him 
to the annual conference for a license as a preacher on trial. Before 
this, the candidates were often granted licenses on trial without being 
required to meet any such standards. No doubt there were some 
among the students who became temporary members of College Chapel 
and First churches for ulterior motives. 

But there were also national and international issues and move- 
ments upon which these men in conference volunteered their judg- 
ment. As early as 1850, one of the eastern conferences resolved that a 
committee be appointed for the purpose of establishing a mission in 
Germany to offset the spread of Rationalism, "which has caused some 
of our friends and relatives to be found in the path of error." The 
attitude toward Spiritualism was definitely negative. One conference 
labeled it as "contrary to the scriptures and in the strongest sense 
objectionable and sinful; wherefore we should stand aloof from this 
species of unrighteousness." An equally drastic condemnation was 
made of the polygamous practice of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). 

Then in the economic field, even back in 1880, a conference delegate 
expressed fear of industrializing the "day of rest on the Christian 
Sabbath. ... As friends of the laborer we appeal ... to those who are 
in the employ of powerful corporations to use their utmost endeavor 
against consolidated capital to prevent bribing the working men by 
offering extra compensation for Sabbath work." 

Besides these conference concerns, we might also point out the 
thoroughness with which morals and behavior of church members was 
brought up for investigation by class leaders in matters of drinking 
Lager beer, not attending prayer meetings, being absent from confer- 
ence sessions on behalf of duly elected delegates, etc. One class was 
"in a state of unrest" in one of the early congregations from May 
1869 to August 1870, about the method of electing exhorters. Finally 
after these many months of wrangling, they resolved ' ' that the matter 
be settled by the class leader and the preacher in love and under- 





And now we come to the story of the Great Schism, whose subter- 
ranean rumbles can be detected long before the later years of the 
1880 's when it erupted disastrously. Read some of the letters and 
conference records, consult some of the diaries and journals of the 
time, or talk to a few of our octogenarians who dimly remember the 
reverberations. Note the frequent emphasis at annual and general 
conferences upon the importance of the editors of the Evangelical 
literature even as early as the General Conference in 1836 ! And why 
not? Weren't their edited words more widely digested than those of 
any other persons, even of the bishops, in those pre-radio and pre-TV 
days ? 

Speaking of the " higher-ups" in our modern ecclesiastical world, 
we are reminded of King David of Biblical fame or of the great Greek 
warrior Achilles. Each had his vulnerable spot — his "Aristotelian 
flaw." All men, high or low, have at least one of the frailties that 
motivate Shakespeare's tragic heroes: pride, jealousy, lust, ambition, 
selfishness — sometimes with a dash of unctious piety! 

At the Annual East Pennsylvania Conference of 1871, we have an 
example of an editor of the "Evangelical Messenger" who was prac- 
tically forced to resign his editorship because of a controversy as to 
his attitude toward certain "Articles of Faith." Later on in that 
same year, when the General Conference met here in Naperville in the 
Zion Evangelical Church, this ex-editor presented a document asking 
for a repeal of the disciplinary actions taken against him in Pennsyl- 
vania. His appeal was refused, however, on the grounds that "he has 
resigned his office and has called to his aid the civil courts, whereby 
he has forfeited his right to appeal to the higher ecclesiastical courts 
of our church." 

AVith this in the background, we are not surprised at the General 
Conference, meeting in Buffalo, New York, in 1887, to find an editor 
being tried and deposed from his position. Under a powerful leader, 
a large group of delegates, feeling that the trial was unjust, walked out 
in protest. This was the action that triggered the ominous division. 
According to one of our modern church historians, "Between 1887 
and 1891 the Evangelical Association slowly and painfully disinte- 
grated." Differences of opinion concerning episcopal power formed a 


part of the background, though the incompatibility of leaders on the 
two sides seems to be the most powerful motivating force for the 


What a wonderful time for a spirit of magnanimity to manifest 
itself! Had some one of the leaders involved forgotten personal 
prejudices and in the true spirit of Christianity and peace endeavored 
to bring about reconciliation, what years of bitterness and vindictive 
reprisals might have been eliminated from the church history! Instead, 
when Dr. II. K. Carroll, editor of the "New York Independent," 
offered his services as arbiter, the determined belligerents peremptorily 
dismissed the suggestion. Such a fraternal strife, as in the Civil War, 
is particularly tragic because of separations brought about in families. 

What a field day for tabloid newspapers! Lurid scenes of unjust 
trials as to who should inherit the church property, and of family 
quarrels bitter with animosities w T ere published "with little sense of 
delicacy or propriety." In 1891, two "general conferences" met 
simultaneously in Indianapolis and in Philadelphia (the city of 
brotherly love!). In 1894, delegates convened in Naperville and or- 
ganized "The United Evangelical Church," which even to its mem- 
bers must have seemed very similar to "The Evangelical Association." 
To an outsider, they were identical. 

This schism had a disastrous effect upon the church, especially in 
the Pennsylvania and in the Illinois conferences, where the court trials 
concerning the church property were many indeed, with half of the 
members or more leaving some of the congregations. Here in Naper- 
ville the United Evangelical people had possession of the Old Brick 
Church for nearly two years in the early nineties, until the court 
awarded the building to the Evangelical Association. The Association 
people, who had been holding their services in the commercial room 
of the college (a privilege granted them by the trustees of North- : 
Western), then returned to the Brick Church. The United Evangel- 
ical group established a new church home. 

The split carried over of course into the English congregation, 
and so we find, for nearly a decade, four Evangelical churches in 
Naperville — and this at a time when many Evangelicals were joining 
other denominations! Zion Church (German-speaking) and College 
Chapel Church (English-speaking) were under the Evangelical As- 
sociation ; Grace Church (English-speaking, corner of Loomis and 
Benton) and Salem Church (German-speaking, corner of Washington 
and Benton) were under the United Evangelicals. Both the shortage 
of ministers and the shortage of money in this near-depression 
period made the struggle for existence of the church very difficult 
indeed. Without any particular organization among them, however, 
these pastors in addition to their work in Naperville served a circuit 
which ran far inland into neighboring counties. 

In the records of the Illnois conference from 1886 to 1898, mention 
is frequently made of two lots owned by the College Chapel Church, 
which were constantly being put up for discussion. (These are lots 
2 and 3 on the west side of Brainard, south from Benton.) They 
caused much legal difficulty during the first years of the schism. One 
of the church leaders from the Evangelical Association advised just 


going- in and taking the lots — "preempting," as it were. And that's 
exactly what happened. Some of the good brothers built a fence in 
front, laid down a walk, got the ground ready for cultivation, and 
rented the land to some of the parishioners — almost over night ! Be- 
longing to their faction, of course ! Later, in 1898 ,the title to the lots 
was cleared legally for a fee of $75.00. According to the records, these 
lots were still a church possession for at least another decade. 

Naturally, the division in the church had its effect upon the college. 
Even before the actual separation, the factions involved had helped 
to bring about the resignation of President Rassweiler in June of 
1888. (There is actually good evidence for deducting that the same 
factions had been connected with President Smith's retirement in 
1883.) Many students rallied to the support of President Rassweiler, 
and some left the college with him. 

Attitude taken toward Sunday baseball back in 1889 as 
expressed by the editor of the "Evangelical Messenger": 
"This subtle evil has clandestinely seized upon the hearts oj 
a fair portion of young America. While we admit that recre- 
ation is not only a privilege but a Christian duty, we firmly 
assert that the popular baseball of today is a heinous national 
crime ... a swindle and a disgrace to our age." 

At the Illinois Conference in 1890 an announcement was made 
that the bishop who was to have been the chairman at the conference 
was suspended as bishop and preacher until the meeting of the Gen- 
eral Conference in 1891. Confusion and disturbances followed. Con- 
demnation was voiced against the action of the trustees of North- 
western College in expelling some members of the board, thus align- 
ing the college with one side of the schism. What many of the dele- 
gates did not know was that the Board of Trustees planned to call a 
special session for adding new members without letting the other side 
catch on to what they were doing! 

Back in 1893 the college had much difficulty in finding an agent 
to manage its finances. Of course he had to be a minister, and the 
conferences were unwdlling to spare one of their own members. Besides 
it would not be easy under the circumstances to collect money either 
from the church or from the community, and the college badly needed 
money — money that was being used in lawsuits and in keeping up the 
expenses of several different churches ! President Kiekhoef er w r rote 
Brother Solomon Gamertsf elder that money was needed "for im- 
provement of the teaching force," but suggested, "Keep this state- 
ment to yourself, please." 

But there was another important unfavorable effect upon the 
college. Many of the students lost interest in the work of the church. 
And who can blame them with all the quarreling and bickering going 


on noisily around them ! By the close of the century, the Board of 
Trustees felt t his so keenly that they passed the following resolution: 
"It is highly essential for the best interest of our school that perfect 
harmony and unanimity of feeling exist between the Chapel Congre- 
gation, the Faculty of the College, and the Board of Trustees of the 
College. Therefore it is the sense of this body that the Chapel Con- 
gregation with its pastor should do its utmost to conduct its affairs 
so as not to injure any of the interests of the college students." In an 
effort to offset the effect of the schism upon the young people, Zion 
and Chapel Churches held revival meetings at the camp grounds 
one mile east of Naperville, purchased in 1898 by the Evangelical 

Much was expected of the "noble student" of that time, as re- 
ported by one who herself participated in that nobility at a later time. 
Here is her Sunday Schedule : 

8:00 A.M. - Student Volunteers 

9:00 A.M. - Sunday School 
10:30 A.M. - Church Services 

4:00 P.M. - Vesper Services for Y.M. and Y.W. 

6:30 P.M. - Y.P.A. (Young People's Alliance) 

7:30 P.M. - Church Services 
(We must remember there were no forms of recreation permissible 
on Sundays — even long walks were discouraged — and up to 1900 only 
one automobile had been seen on the streets of Naperville, and that 
one was en route from Chicago to Aurora!) 

All of this contention was very upsetting to any kind of coopera- 
tion among the churches of Naperville, just as in the United Nations it 
is hard to get unanimity when two powerful factions fail to become 
reconciled. It was disturbing to all of the interdenominational activ- 
ities. Some outsiders favored one side, some another. A few callous 
ones were smugly amused, but many deplored the cloud of community - ! 
unpleasantness that permeated everywhere. 

By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, however, there 
were evidences of a desire to forgive and forget. The minister of the 
Chapel Church from 1905 to 1910, Reverend George Manshardt, newly 
arrived from California, refused to distinguish among Evangelicals 
in choosing his friends. His family and that of Reverend Edwin 
Woodring, minister of Grace Church, had been friends back in Penn- 
sylvania, and the two preachers often visited and conferred with each 
other. The chapel minister also chose as some of his " out-of-worktime 
buddies" two highly successful business men from the United Evan- 
gelical group — E.J.T. Mover and Peter Kroehler. Also some of the 
young people's groups began informal types of cooperation. It was 
near the end of this first decade too that each of the Evangelical 
churches decided independently to support other denominations in 
Xaperville in Union Evangelistic Services held in Central Park. 






Another union, in the meantime, was taking place between the 
English-speaking Chapel Church and the German-speaking Zion 
Church. As early as 1906 a committee was appointed in the College 
Congregation to plan to raise money for a church building. First 
there was a proposal to unite with Zion Church, but this was deemed 
inadvisable at that time. Then there was talk of building a church on 
the campus, half of the $30,000 to be paid by the chapel congregation, 
half by the college. Partly because of financial difficulties, no definite 
action was taken by the committee. 

Not only in Naperville but in many conferences all over the coun- 
try between the years 1905-1910, there was much discussion of unify- 
ing the English and the German congregations. Motions were made, 
tabled, rescinded, and often remade. Everywhere there were "die- 
hards" who wanted their church services conducted in their native 
language, even if by this time all communication in their homes and 
business places was carried on in English. They seemed to feel closer 
i to their Creator when worshipping Him in German ! If only ten 
[per cent of a congregation wanted services in German, that was suf- 
ficient to warrant their continuance in many of the churches. 

In 1910 the following recommendation was sent by the trustees of 
the Zion (First) Church to the English chapel: "Resolved, that we, 

! the Trustees of the First Evangelical Church of Naperville, . . . deem 

i it advisable and believe the time has come, that we as Zion and College 
congregations should unite our strength and extend our usefulness in 

'our community and lessen the burden of both societies." (By this 
time "Zion" and "First" are used interchangeably.) Then came a 
list of considerations under which union might be consummated. The 
offer was accepted, with some modifications, by the College Church. 
The services were to be conducted in English, but there might be one 
German preaching service held each Sunday, as long as any members 
so desired, but not at the time of the regular morning or evening 

! service. (This practice actually continued until 1955 at the death of 
Reverend Charles Rodeseiler.) German prayer-meeting and Sunday 
School classes could be continued under the same regulations. The 

. amalgamation of the two churches had been greatly accelerated in the 


preceding years by the wise guidance of their respective pastors: Rev- 
erend G. W. Hallwachs of Zion and Reverend George Manshardt of 


About 1918 President Charles Blanchard of Wheaton Col- 
lege stayed two nights at the home of President Rail (Sat- 
urday and Sunday nights) to be able to attend a church 
meeting Sunday afternoon without traveling on the Sabbath 
Day! But it was not only PEOPLE who were not supposed to 
travel on Sunday. Evangelicals were admonished, "Mail 
your letters early enough in the week so they will reach 
their destination without traveling on the "Lord's Day." 

The first joint meeting of the two churches was under Reverend 
VY. A. Schutte, on May 6. 1910. This newly-appointed minister was a 
very gracious person, full of vitality. Dean George J. Kirn used to 
say, "He was so energetic — oh, so energetic!" Old timers have told 
how his sermons just rolled out in either German or English. Nearly' 
ev< ry Sunday he preached three sermons. 

With such a dynamic leader, it is not surprising that later on that' 
same month at the first congregational meeting held by this "First 1 ' 
Church of the Evangelical Association of Xaperville," a committee, 
was appointed to investigate the possibilities of building a larger 
church. It was resolved immediately, however, that "no operations; 
shall be begun until $25,000 shall be secured in subscriptions and 

There were conflicting emotions among the members of the congre- 
gation at the tearing down of the "Old Brick Church" a few months 
later, in order to rebuild upon the same site. Some of the older Ger* 
man-speaking people in particular were nostalgic in their remin- 
iscences of revival meetings, of marriages and ordinations and funer- 
als held in this fifty-year-old place of worship. 

Many others, however, were thrilled as they watched the new 
building emerge, "a stately and commodious structure," erected at a 
final cost of around $66,000. (The first contract for a new building 
let in 1910 was for $34,609, without organ, pews, lighting, plumbing, 
or window glass.) Much careful study on the part of Reverend Schutte 
and a special committee was devoted to the design of the windows. 
We are told that at the memorable dedication February 25, 1912, just 
fifty years ago. Bishop Spreng was so thrilled that he led the congre- 
gation through three "singings" of the doxology without any inter- 
mission ! The sum of $7000 was pledged and paid at the dedication 

Other contributions came from friends in Xaperville and from 
conferences all over the country that gave generously for the building 
of this college-related church. When the remainder of the debt was 


wiped out seven years later, we find the following comment entered 
in the "Jubilee Church Book," published in 1919: "This project 
was no small undertaking by this society, but with the enthusiasm 
and marked liberality, so characteristic of the members of this church, 
the task was finally completed." 

Another building dear to the members of First Church about 
which many people have been making inquiries is the parsonage that 
shares the west side of the block where the present church and 
church school building now stand. Through its various renovations, 
this house has emerged as one of distinction and beauty. Because 
there has been so much discussion as to the year in which it was first 
constructed, two members of the history committee searched records in 
the vault at the Wheaton Courthouse for enlightenment. We found 
that Morris Sleight had received this land from the United States gov- 
ernment on Feb. 4, 1815, without any exchange of cash. Five years 
later (1850) James J. Hunt purchased it from the original owner for 
$65. Hunt sold it four years later (1854) to John Hall for $100. Two 
years later (1856) Victor Fredenhagen purchased the lot for $1809. 
That jump in price (from $100 to $1809) established to our complete 
(and gleeful) satisfaction that the parsonage must have been built 
sometime between 1854 and 1856! Fredenhagen was the proprietor 
for fifteen years; then the property had two other owners before it 
was sold to the Zion Evangelical Church on March 31, 1874, for 
$2000. Since that time the house was repaired in 1893 and strength- 
ened and rebuilt in 1908, at which time it was valued at $4500. 

But to go back to those first years in what one of the members 
spoke of later as ' ' our magnificent new place of worship. ' ' There were 
other problems besides that of language. Some of the church people 
objected greatly to having any meals served in the church. One man 
even refused to pay his $1000 pledge because a kitchen was equipped 
in the basement. At the first annual administrative meeting of the 
congregation, some refused to come because it was preceded by a 
church supper. 

Then there were people who objected to any kind of entertainment 
being held in the church, cultural as well as social. The sanctuary 
would seat more people than the chapel in Smith Hall, and soon the 
college was asking permission to use the church for concerts and lec- 
tures. Scott's Hall downtown had become too cosmopolitan and secu- 
lar for some of these good brethren, and many controversal discussions 
were held on the subject in the church basement, on campus, and in 
favorite downtown meeting places. 

Gradually the opposition lost out, and for many years the church 
basement was the banquet hall for the college. All the programs for 
the Concert and Lecture Series were given in the spacious sanctuary 
which seated more than 800 people. Among the renowned speakers 
were Dean Holgate of Northwestern University and Helen Keller, 
who was fast becoming the world's best-known handicapped lady. 
All the festivities of Commencement weekend were held here. For the 


first fifteen years after its construction, this was definitely the college 

After the completion of Pfeiffer Hall in 1926, cultural activities 
for the college shifted to the auditorium of that building. Many of 
the banquets, however, continued to be held in the basements of both 
First and Grace Churches until the present Student Union days. 

But we must "back up and fill in" what has been taking place in 
the relationship between the Evangelical Association and the United 
Evangelicals during this second decade of the 20th century. While 
the new church was being built by the Association in 1911-12, on the 
site of the Old Brick Church, the United Evangelicals offered the use 
of Grace Church (newly constructed in 1909) to the First Church 
congregation for funerals and weddings. Soon after this, in 1911, 
appointed commissioners from Evangelical churches all over the coun- 
try, both the Association and the United groups, met at the Adams 
Street Church in Chicago to try to resolve the difficulties sundering 
them. As Miss Bucks has expressed in her Centennial Reminiscences: 
"As years went by, we all became homesick, and had a longing to 
become one church again ; and kindly Providence and wise leaders in 
both churches brought this hoped-for victory into fulfillment." 

On October 14, 1922, at the General Conference in Detroit, Mich- 
igan, the consummation took place. So came into existence the de- ! 
nomination known for twenty-four years as The Evangelical Church. ! 

After five more years of "careful study and wise adjustment," on 
March 31, 1927, the Illinois Conference and the Illinois United Con- < 
ference met separately in Naperville for the last time — the Illinois ; . 
Conference at First Church, the Illinois United at Grace Church. That 
evening in Pfeiffer Hall a "merging" ceremony occurred, marking 
this as a time for joy and gratitude on the part of many people from 
both congregations. Now the tw r o churches were again in the same 
conference, having the same bishop, presiding elder, and other confer- ] 
ence officials. 

Miss Bucks has expressed the feeling shared by many on that event- ■ 
ful evening: "What a time of rejoicing ! I can never forget the happy 
event and how the reality of the blessed victory thrilled our inmost 
being. I am so thankful I could be present at this blessed meeting." 
From that time on, a much more cordial and cooperative spirit has 
existed between pastors and congregations. 

During these decades of union and expansion in the early 20th 
century, the Woman's Missionary Society (now the WSWS) was "a 
very much alive society, truly missionary, with a strong sense of 
mission in its programs and in all its activities." Ethel Spreng, a 
long-time national leader in this organization, told an amusing in- 
cident in connection with a yearly election of officers: 

Mrs. August Muench was a colorful personality, with 
strong convictions, and she never lacked the courage to 
emphasize what she earnestly believed in. One such con- 


viction was that nominating committees were all wrong. 
People should be permitted to vote for the person of their 
choice and not told whom they could vote for. 

Now it so happened that it was time for the annual 
election of the Society. Some of the women had thought 
beforehand that Mrs. G. B. Kimmel would be just the 
right president and talked to her about it. But she had 
said she could not possibly serve as president at that 
time. However, they thought she could be persuaded 
to change her mind. So word was passed around and she 
was elected on the first ballot. She said again, firmly, 
that she could not accept the election, and asked them 
not to vote for her again. They still tried to persuade 
her, but she finally convinced them that she meant what 
she said. Then what to do? There was no second choice 
offered, so the women were told to cast their ballot for 
the woman of their choice. The result was that nearly 
every woman there received at least one vote. They voted 
again several times, but no one was found willing to take 
the responsibility. Then it was that Mrs. S. J. Gamerts- 
felder rose up and expressed her conviction that it was 
too bad that in all that group of fine young women, all 
members of the WMS, and capable, there was not one 
consecrated enough to be willing to serve the Lord in this 
position of leadership in His work. There was silence 
when she sat down, and then another ballot was called 
for. Yes, you guessed it, Mrs. Gamertsfelder was unani- 
mously elected. By that time it was 5 :30 of the clock. 
At the time of the next year's election, a nominating 
committee was appointed ! 

Some strong-minded women in the earlier days of the 
Missionary Society objected to having the money they had 
earned and collected put into the general budget of the 
church, as many of the men thought should be done. Under 
Mrs. Solomon Gamertsfelder and Mrs. E. M. Spreng the 
women won out and were able to say where the money 
should, be spent. 

Also sponsoring and promulgating various projects both social and 
ecclesiastic during these same decades of the 20th century were some 
strong and well organized Sunday School classes. This was a period 
of enthusiastic work in Sunday Schools all over the country in most 
Protestant denominations. This part of the work of the church could 
be ably done by laymen, who were often encouraged by their pastors. 

The oldest organized classes in the Evangelical Association Sunday 
Schools in Naperville were the Sheal and the Berean. Both originated 


iii the College (Impel Sunday School before the union of the Englisn 
and the German congregations. A class of young women, taught by 
Mrs. (J. \V. Sindlinger, had been meeting regularly for seven years or 
more before they organized about 1906 as the Sheal class. Mrs. Sind- 
linger was a much loved and a devoted teacher. Some of the women 
who succeeded her were Mrs. G. B. Kimmel, Mrs. McKendrie Coultrapl 
and Mrs. L. II. Seager. It was much later before this class of women 
chose to have men as their teachers — even college professors! 

The Berean class of men and women was organized under the pas- 
torate of Reverend George Manshardt in 1906, with Dr. S. J. Gam- 
ertsfelder as its first great teacher. The name for the class owes its 
origin to Acts 17:10-12. (Look it up!) The Bereans were a people 
who received the word of Paul "with all readiness of mind, and 
searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." All 
through the years this class has been known for its serious and schol- 
arly Bible study, under outstanding leaders like Bishop Spreng, 
Reverend F. W. Umbreit, and Professor W. H. Heinmiller. Its aver- 
age high attendance surpassed all other classes for many years, Avith 
the exception of the Immanuel Class. At one time each of these two 
classes reached a peak of eighty-five. 

Both the Sheal and the Berean classes helped in various church 
projects, local and general, and furnished many teachers for the Sun- 
day School, as well as superintendents of many departments. 

Not long after the building of the new church there was a notice- : 
able increase in attendance at Sunday School. In 1913, the enrollment 
was 644. By 1915 it was over 700. One local commentator remarked : , 
' ' The Sunday School rooms blossom as the rose after the uniting of j 
the German and the Chapel Churches." 

Much encouragement was given the Sunday School movement by '. 
Reverend Schutte and by Reverend F. F. Jordan, who held the pastor- 
ate for two years (1914-1916) after Reverend Schutte 's death. Rev- 
erend Jordan was also a bilingual preacher of great evangelistic force. . 
One of the church ladies of today, who was a Sunday School girl in 
those days, called him a highly emotional man "who was tall and thin 
and who used to get his arms and legs all twisted up in his earnestness \ 
to put across a point." The children found him fascinating. 

In 1912 two other classes were organized: the Immanuel Bible 
Class for men and the Sigma Zeta Class for young unmarried men. 
The Immanuel Class was organized under Judson Gamertsfelder and 
was soon competing with the two earlier classes in enthusiasm and at- 
tendance and in promoting church and social projects. This friendly 
rivalry continued through the succeeding decades as the Immanuels 
also strove for scholarly leadership under such teachers as Dr. Kimmel, 
President of Evangelical Theological Seminary and Dr. E. E. Rail, 
President of North Central College. 

There was enthusiasm also for social and manual projects. These 
men had monthly dinners which they themselves prepared. Once a 
year, on Valentine's Day, wives and sweethearts were allowed to in- 
vade this masculine sanctum ! There were many projects of shared 
manual labor, such as the building of the twenty-two plywood tables 
still being used for dinners and pot-luck suppers. 


The main spirit behind the organization of the Sigma Zeta Class 
for ''grown-up boys" was W. W. Spiegler. At the Old Brick Church 
for a number of years he had been teaching the young men's class of 
post-high school age, and he combined this with a group from the 
College Sunday School in 1912. Gordon Gamertsfelder, John Schutte, 
and Milton and Wesley Stauffer were among the early members. There 
were also young men from families outside the church membership. 
This democratic group never became very large because as soon as a 
man married he was dismissed from the class! It was "Gordy" Gam- 
ertsfelder who elicited the help of his classically educated father in 
changing the chosen name for the class, "Life Savers," to Sigma Zeta. 
These were the days when Greek letter names for all kinds of organ- 
izations were filtering down from academic levels! 

Much of the inspiration and leadership for this class came from 
three outstanding and dedicated men, each of whom gave years of 
teaching and guidance : W. W. Spiegler, J. X. Lehman, and Lester 
Schloerb. Besides the class sessions on Sunday mornings, for which 
they made hours of preparation, there were over-night trips to camp 
grounds and river sites as well as summer vacation trips to Lake 
Geneva and Lake Wawasee. 

The Forward Movement apportionment for First Church in 
the jive years following World War I was $9,000. The church 
actually raised over $25,000! Almost unbelievable, but so the 
Church Record Book relates. 

With all this enthusiasm and growth in numbers, including many 
other classes in many departments, it soon became evident that the 
size of the rooms and the facilities available were absolutely inade- 
quate. There were at least eight classes of college students alone : one 
each for freshman, for sophomore, for junior, and for senior men ; one 
each for freshman, for sophomore, for junior, and for senior women. 
Later the classes were not so arbitrarily segregated when there were 
fewer college students attending Sunday School. Many of the teach- 
ers were on the college or seminary faculties, including Professor 
Thomas Finkbeiner, one of the most popular teachers both at college 
and at the church. It is impossible to evaluate the contributions of 
these faculty families to the life of the church in many departments 
during these decades. The Sunday School continued to develop, how- 
ever, in spite of physical handicaps. 

According to the Jubilee Church Book, the years of Reverend A. J. 
Boelter's pastorate (1916-1921) were prosperous from a financial 
standpoint : "A debt of $9000 was wiped out. All local and general 
obligations were met in full." 

The pastor's salary was raised from $1300 to $2100. All of this 
was during and after World War I. To quote again from the Jubilee 


Church Hook: "During our National Crisis . . . this church proved 
herself loyal and patriotic to a remarkable degree. This was evidenced 
by the large sums of money which were contributed for the support 
of our government, for the benevolent and philanthropic institutions, 
and especially through the large contributions of many of her best and 
noblest young men to the services of their country. The heroism, the 
unselfish service, the sacrifice and love for humanity of her 223 brave 
young men will be cherished as a sacred memory by every member 
of the church." 

In 1921 Reverend Holland Schloerb began his seven-year tenure at 
First Church. A man with liberal views and scholarly interpretations, 
yet he could talk without offending those who were more (or less!) 
orthodox in their thinking. 

The diplomacy of Dr. Schloerb can be epitomized in one short 
story. In the twenties, a very young faculty couple bought a new car. 
It was their first. Spring roads, though full of ruts, mud, and pitfalls, 
were enticing. Three Sundays in a row the young couple took to the 
unpaved, uncluttered highways, "without benefit of clergy." The 
next week Dr. Schloerb came calling. After a pleasant conversation,' 
iu which Sunday driving was never mentioned. Dr. Schloerb said to 
the bride, "I understand you have been trained as a teacher. We have; 
a lively Junior Class without a teacher just now. Would you fill in< 
for a few Sundays, starting next Sunday" Of course she would. She 
did — and has been busy in some phase of Church School work contin-; 
uously ever since. 

His awareness of the "doings" of the young people of his congre- 
gation coupled with his concern for promotion of a superior Church' 
School program made Dr. Schloerb the logical guiding force for the - 
building of a new Educational Unit. 

A new unit was becoming a great necessity. Classes were being; 
formed as the need arose. Two classes for women had been organized 1 
in the earlv 20 's: the Work-to- Win, in 1920, and the Fidelis Class in: 

At its peak enrollment the Work-to-Win Class numbered around 
fifty. For many years the membership was enlarged by the wives of 
seminary students. Mrs. Xaninga, mother of Mrs. Wilber Harr, was 
the first teacher of the Work-to-Win Class. Later, Mrs. Solomon Gam- 
ertsfelder was the beloved and inspiring teacher for thirty years. 

The women believed in calling at homes in the parish, and one year 
thirty-five women made 500 calls. The strong missionary spirit in the 
class resulted in many contributions overseas, in money as well as in 
food and clothing. They also presented the local church with innumer- 
able furnishings, especially the altar and the Bible which are now in 
the chapel, given in honor of Mrs. Gamertsf elder. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Wahl, who with her husband, the late Carl Wahl, was a missionary in 
China, is now teacher of the class. 

In 1923, at the suggestion of the minister, Rolland Schloerb, and 
the officers of the Sunday School, a class was organized for the single 


women. Through the years this Fidelis group has averaged from 
twenty to thirty members, willingly participating whenever called 
upon in various departments of church and Sunday School. A few 
of the original group are still in the class; many have died, moved 
away, or married. But through all these years the teacher first chosen 
is still teaching. Ethel Spreng, daughter of Bishop S. P. Spreng, her- 
self says: "They have endured with admirable Christian grace the 
same teacher for lo these many years, from the beginning even unto 
this day." Other members of the class acknowledge her as the hub 
which holds the spokes together. 

The first project of the class was a pledge of $250 to the Building 
Fund for the Educational Unit. The first large White Gift was a 
wheel chair for Charlotte Marous of the Little Flower Shop, one of 
their own group. This cost $100 at a time when that meant a lot of 
money. Part of their White Gifts were often sent to missionary 
friends such as Marie Gocker and Lois Kramer. 

Program of the Dedicatory Services of the First 
Evangelical Church at Naperville, Illinois, February 
Twenty-First to Twenty-Sixth, Nineteen Hundred and 


WEDNESDAY, 7:30 P.M English Sermon 

Presiding Elder Naperville District 

THURSDAY, 7:30 P.M German Sermon 

Presiding Elder Chicago Division 

FRIDAY, 7:30 P.M Sacred Concert by the Choir 

SUNDAY, 9:30 A.M German Sermon 


SUNDAY, 10:30 A.M English Sermon 


SUNDAY, 2:30 P.M English Sermon 


SUNDAY, 7:30 P.M Mass Meeting 

Address by Rev. L. C. Schmidt 
Sermon and Dedicatory Services by Bishop Spreng 

MONDAY, 7:30 P.M Organ Recital 

Mr. William E. Zeuch, Chicago 

Encouraged by the sound financial background and by the success 
of both private and public solicitation, the congregation finally de- 
cided in 1923 to erect the badly needed building. They chose a large 
building committee of sixteen members, with Professor M. E. Nonne- 
maker as chairman. They made two requests of the Illinois Conference 
of that and the following year: first, for permission to buy adjoining 
land for the building site ; second, for permission to mortgage the 
church property to cover a loan of $20,000. Both requests were grant- 


I'd. Pledges for the new addition amounted to $31,500 in 1924. Per- 
haps part of tlic success of the fund-raising campaign can be attrib- 
uted to the publication and distribution of a small pamphlet, "Story 
of a Sunday School," in which the author (Beulah Tillitson Dwinell) 
pictured for the primary and children's departments a crowded en- 
vironment where "the walls are dark, the air is damp, the light is 
artificial, the floor is uncovered cement; everything but the children 
seems lifeless!" 

.Mrs. Dwinell. Superintendent of the Intermediate Department, and 
Mrs. Thomas Finkbeiner, Superintendent of the Primary Department, 
did not come into the new building. Mrs. Finkbeiner. who had spent 
endless hours in the planning of the new building once said. "Like 
Moses, we led them to the Promised Land, and then let someone else 
take over." 

The building of the new unit meant the enlargement of all phases 
of Sunday School work. Instead of having to meet in the kitchen, in a 
curtained-off area of the dining room, or the furnace room, each de- 
partment now had a beautiful assembly room and individual class- 
rooms to accommodate the nearly 1,000 pupils. This plant was one of 
the most modern and advanced Church School units (note use of the 
progressive term. Church School, rather than the time-honored Sunday 
School) in the entire denomination, and visitors came daily to look 
over the facilities. 

Professor M. E. Nonnamaker was the General Superintendent 
when the new unit was dedicated in 1925 by Bishop S. P. Spreng. 
Other officers included: August Ritzert, August Muench, the three 
Broeker brothers — Lester, Milton and Willard, — Albert Klingbeil, 
Professor Heinmiller (Missions), Mrs. E. X. Himmel (Temperance), 
F. Theiss (Home Department). Xaomi Manshardt and Mary Lenz 
(pianists). Esther Tarnoski (orchestra), H. C. Urbaurer and Floyd 
Shisler (ushers), Miss Edith Smith (Senior), Reverend Carl Hein- 
miller (Young People). Professor H. R. Heininger, Superintendent, 
and Floyd Bosshardt. President (North Central Students), and Pro- 
fessor J. S. Stamm (Adult). 

The opening services for all Church School classes above inter- 
mediate age were held in the sanctuary. Orchestra, pianists, and 
ushers were all an essential part of this adult ''opening" program. 
The assistant superintendents of the Church School took turns in pre- 
paring the opening devotionals. 

The younger children of course were happily meeting in their own 
individual departments. The superintendents who began the work in I 
the new building were: Mrs. Amelia Umbach (Cradle Roll), Mrs. 
E. E. Kail (Beginners). Mrs. E. E. Domm (Primary), Mrs. J. S. 
Stamm (.Junior). Mrs. D. W. Staffeld (Intermediate). 

Many people had contributed hours of labor in decorating and 
furnishing the rooms. The ladies had made all the drapes by hand. 
Dr. Sehloerb, Mrs. Rail. Mrs. Freda Druschel, and Mrs. Domm were 
delighted to go into Chicago to Lyon and Healy's to buy pianos for 
the Sunday School rooms. The chairs and tables were designed to fit 


Krst Evangelical Church 
without Educational Unit. 

Reverend W. A. Schutte 

Reverend F. F. Jordan m 

Reverend A. J. Boelter 

Reverend Rolland Schloerb 

Reverend William Grote 

Reverend Dewey Eder 

First Evangelical Church with Church School Building 

Bagsggnt,<r . jjrh- 





ft PQ 


Sanctuary of "Old Brick 

G. W. Hallwachs 
Pastor of Zion congregation 

Reverend George Manshardt 

Pastor of 
College Chapel congregation 

Sanctuary — Chapel of North-Western College 






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each age group. Ample blackboard space in each classroom produced 
an excellent teaching situation. 

Miss Laura Libutzki, who was one of the college librarians, liked 
to tell a story about the use of the blackboard in her classroom. One 
Sunday when the children were "wiggly" and inattentive, she said, 
* ' I can 't understand what is the matter with you boys and girls today. 
Last Sunday you were unusually good. Today you are creating a big 
disturbance. ' ' 

A second-grader raised his hand. "Miss Laura," he explained, 
' ' last Sunday you wrote on the board : 

'Be still and know that I am God'. s -^ 

Today you wrote: 

' Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, ' and that 's what we 're doing ! ' ' 

Bishop Seager loved to tell stories on himself. One of his 
favorites concerned an experience as a young preacher offi- 
ciating at a wedding. Evidently the people waiting to witness 
the ceremony had decided to amuse themselves by singing. 
Just as he came through the door at the head of the wedding 
procession, they were chanting: "See the hosts advancing, 
Satan leading on!" 

During this period, Professor E. E. Domm, head of the Bible De- 
partment at North Central College, took over the Religious Education 
work of the Church School, and many of the most modern concepts 
of teaching and lesson planning were put into effect. New superin- 
tendents replaced those who moved away and the work continued in a 
most satisfying manner. 

One of the vigorous growths took place in the Intermediate De- 
partment. Mrs. Willard Muehl, who had been appointed superin- 
tendent, had great ability at organization and a real vision of what 
would attract Junior High pupils. The department was named 
J. 0. Y. (Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last). The department 
theme song was the lively and singable, "For there is joy, joy, joy 
down in my heart." There was a coordinated morning and evening 
program. This antedated by many years the unified type of program 
winch our General Church advocated at the merger. 

As there was no Junior Choir at this time, the J.O.Y. donned white 
surplices and served in that capacity as needed. An orchestra, original 
playlets, and the giving of well-planned teas and programs for such 
times as Mother's Day, kept the creative young minds functioning. 
These activities were all worked out in committee sessions, and youth 
participation was at a maximum. An excellent teaching staff made the 
Sunday morning programs stimulating and challenging. 

5[C SgC 3|5 3? 

Contributions and pledges had come readily for the new building. 


In 1927 the Ladies Auxiliary gave $400 for the Building Fund. Con- 
tributions from 929 others (including 179 college students) amounted 
to $13,648.69. In all, a sum of $14,048.69 was applied to the reduction 
of the building debt that year. 

All of which is an important reminder that a necessary part of any 
organization is the treasurer or committee or board that looks after 
the financial affairs. Back in Zion Church in 1908 a Committee on 
Stewardship was appointed, with W. W. Spiegler as chairman of the 
eight men. He must have been a good business man, for he held the 
position through the union with Chapel congregation, through the 
building of the new church, and through the additional building 
project in the early 20's. Then under the tenure of Reverend 
Schloerb, a Board of Stewards was organized with John E. Manshardt 
as First Steward. Under his guidance, "counting teams were estab- 
lished, a new set of books was ordered, and the Every-Member Can- 
vass was begun." The giving of envelopes to children was adopted at 
this time also and received wide support. 

An outside problem which was to grow to such immense propor- 
tions on "Piety Corners" that today there is no possible solution to it, 
began to raise its head already in 1927 — The Parking Problem ! This 
was discussed frequently in trustee meetings. Also, the day of auto- 
mation was at hand, and the purchase of a mimeograph machine was 

A Weekday School of Religion was begun in Naperville in 1927 
and First Church enrolled 110 pupils and contributed $2085.00 toward 
its support. 

The church was prospering and enjoying a great feeling of unity 
and spiritual completeness when the sword of the seven-year rule fell. 
Many plans were developed to try to change or circumvent the Church 
dictum which said that seven years was as long as a minister might 
serve one congregation. Some of the plans offered (publicly and pri- 
vately) were: insist that First Church is legally the College Church { 
and therefore exempt ; have Big Woods join our congregation and 
then there would be a different form of organization ; start an Eola 
mission church and let Dr. Schloerb serve both churches; or just plain J 
refuse to abide by the rule and insist that Conference return him to ; 
First Church. With the clear-eyed, above-board candor and integrity 
which had so endeared him to his people ,Dr. Schloerb said, "Either 
I am returned because Conference wills it or I shall have to go. There 
will be no subterfuge or evasions. ' ' Since Conference did not deem it 
possible to make an exception of First Church, Dr. Schloerb answered 
a call to the Hyde Park Baptist Church of Chicago. He served this 
church with great distinction and became one of the eminent church- 
men of America. 

* * * # 

With the going of Dr. Schloerb, the search was on for someone to 
fill his place. The Reverend William E. Grote, who had served suc- 
cessful pastorates in Illinois and one briefly in California, was ap- 
pointed in 1928. He was serving in Kankakee at the time and that 
congregation was greatly perturbed at losing Mr. Grote. 

The personality traits of thoughtfulness and concern for people 


which had enriched the lives of members of former congregations 
were evidenced many times and in many ways during Depression 

The horror of hungry children stalked across the land, and Naper- 
ville was not spared. A "Soup Kitchen" was established in the old 
Electric Light Plant on River Street in 1929 and First Church mem- 
bers contributed generously — heaping supplies of vegetables from 
their gardens, small gifts of money for soup meat (even small gifts 
could well be called generous in those days), and hours of time. The 
children sat at long clean tables and ate their bowls of soup at the 
Electric Light Plant, and then in little tin buckets carried some 
home. Mr. Grote gave himself unstintingly to this relief work. 

Later, the closing of the banks came as a shock to many in the 
congregation, but to one couple who were momentarily expecting the 
arrival of their second child, there was an added element of fear. Not 
one word had been said to the minister, but on the Sunday evening 
after the declaration of the bank moratorium, Reverend Grote arrived 
at the home of his young parishioners. He took from his coat pocket 
a handful of change and a few bills and laid them on the dining room 

Would you like to know why the attendance in Immanuel 
Class soared to an average of seventy every Sunday in the 
1930's? The class was divided into eight teams and the cap- 
tains of each group would call their members each week, 
urging their attendance on the following Sunday morning! 

"This is all there was in the loose offering," he said, "for most of 
our congregation had very little money on hand, but I feel that your 
need is greater than anyone else's right now." 

No counting. No saying, "Pay it back as soon as you can." Com- 
plete trust and understanding. A few months later the healthy boy 
who was baptized by his ' ' benefactor, ' ' had an " E " in his name which 
was the same "E" as in W. E. Grote! 

Sunday evenings after the church service, families liked to "drop 
in" at the Grote home. Big bowls of hot buttered popcorn served by 
Mrs. Grote, a most gracious hostess ; games devised and toys supplied 
by parsonage daughters, Nancy and Lois, to amuse the visitors' chil- 
dren ; and the warm, hearty welcome and good conversation supplied 
by Reverend Grote, made these Sunday evenings memorable. Money 
was in short supply but love and good fellowship abounded. 

* * * # 

During these days the church budget was radically reduced. 
Earlier when the stairway to the parsonage was reported unsafe, the 
Church Council had decided to build a new parsonage. Now, partly 
because of the Depression and partly because many people saw beauty 
in the old building, the funds for this purpose were discontinued. 


Despite the terrible shortage of money, however, the indebtedness on 
the new educational unit was somewhat reduced. By 1933, the Ladies' 
Auxiliary had given $4500 toward the Building Fund. 

The pastor's study, which had been in the small room upstairs 
behind the pulpit, was moved to the room at the east end of the south 
corridor on the first floor. There was no church secretary. The mimeo- 
graph machine had been purchased and the Sunday bulletins were 
now being mimeographed at the cost of about $7.50 a week. The work 
was done by high school girls. 

In spite of economic difficulties, however, weddings were still 
going on. Among the church weddings performed by Dr. Grote was 
that of Reverend John R. Bouldin and Miss Grace Byas, daughter of 
the District Superintendent. A. H. Byas. The Superintendent's home 
in Xaperville. which is located next door to First Church parsonage. 
was the home of the bride. Interestingly enough. Grace Byas Bouldin 
is at the present time again living in the "D. S.'s" house, this time 
as the wife of a (now called) Conference Superintendent. Dr. Bouldin 
is serving the Northern District of the Illinois Conference. 

The German service had continued through the years but now the 
pastors who had been conducting the services had either died or be- 
come unable to serve. As there were still quite a number of older 
people, however, who wanted to worship in the German language. Dr. 
Grote took over this early morning service. The place of worship was 
changed from the sanctuary to the large room with the stained glass 
windows across the hall. 

Much material and labor were donated during these years. August 
Ritzert refinished the pulpit furniture — the huge, solid square chairs 
and pulpit — to match the woodwork. George Wicks donated wood 
veneering to cover the balcony front. The sanctuary was redecorated 
at a cost of $1723 and for three Sundays the services were held in 
Pfeiffer Hall. The Ladies Auxiliary gave $750. which with the Rally 
Day ottering of $835 nearly covered the cost of decorating. 

When Rev. F. F. Jordan introduced newly acquired mem- 
bers to his congregation, he would often say: "Now Mr. R 

is a good carpenter; Mr, W would do 

a good plumbing job jor you." Just a friendly gesture, as the 
good man was really concerned for his parishioners. 

The Church School classes were serving in many ways. The Sheal 
Class had for a number of years taken care of the choir robes. The 
Work-to- Win (lass provided facilities for the production of plays in 
the basemen! of First Church. The Bereans had an acoustican system 
installed. A new class for young women was formed called Sigma 
< >niega Sigma, in the good Creek tradition. The letters. S. 0. S.. stood 
for ''Smile. Obey, Serve." The officers elected were Marian Quantz, 
President. Wilma Hofert, Vice-President, and Helen Lueben, Secre- 


tary-Treasurer. Dr. Riebel, General Superintendent, reported a gen- 
eral Church School reorganization was in progess in 1935. 

Money during these years was exceedingly scarce, but members of 
First Church were not denied the privilege of hearing the great lead- 
ers of this era. These were the years when the bond between the col- 
lege and the church was very close, and all the college programs were 
listed in full on the church bulletins. Even the regular chapel services 
were given much space. Some of the speakers at Pfeiffer Hall were 
Reinhold Niebuhr on ''The Crisis in Western Civilization", Kirby 
Page, Sherwood Eddy, "Dad" Elliott, Dr. Edgar Goodspeed, and 
Dr. L. M. Sweet. 

The Mayers brought the insight and breadth of their vision to 
the missionary program of First Church. The Woman's Missionary 
Society, Young Woman's Missionary Circle, and The Mission Band 
all benefited from the concepts of the indigenous church which Dr. 
Mayer was already forseeing. A week's special services were con- 
ducted by Dr. Mayer, three days of which were in Grace Church. 
Later, upon his return to Japan, Dr. Mayer became active in the 
Kingdom of God Movement in Japan, of which the world-famous 
Kagawa was the leader. 

Ethel Spreng told us of a later incident in connection with the 
Woman's Missionary Society and Dr. Mayer: 

Reverend Eder received word that the Paul Mayer 
family, missionaries in Japan, would soon be coming 
home on a year's furlough and would like to make Na- 
perville their headquarters. Could a house be found for 
them? Mr. Eder at once took up with the "ever-ready" 
women of the WMS, and they went to work right away. 
They found that the district house next to the parson- 
age would be vacant that year. So an invitation was 
given to the women of the Grace Church WMS to join us 
in the project. They readily agreed. An SOS was sent 
out through both societies for good used furniture, 
beds, tables, chairs, rugs, dishes, kitchenware, curtains, 
drapes, and everything needed to furnish a house. The 
response was heart-warming. Women from both soci- 
eties were enlisted, and the enthusiasm was catching. 
With much scrubbing and cleaning and painting, in an 
amazingly short time there arose before us a beautifully 
furnished house, with everything for good housekeep- 
ing and comfortableness. It was most inviting. Some of 
the women thought it was nicer even than their own 
homes. And the real joy of all working together can 
hardly be expressed. 

Needless to say, Dr. and Mrs. Mayer and their family 
were indeed delighted, and both Grace and First Church 
felt that the Mayer family belonged to us all. 

In 1934, the General Conference of the Evangelical Church saw 
fit to remove entirely the seven-year limit, but since it did not become 


effective until October, 1935, it was too late for Mr. Grote to stay on 
at First Church. 

At the farewell party for the Grote family in May, 1935, many 
members remembered with tenderness the kind and often unconven- 
tional and warmly human relationship with their pastor. In the 
in i mis of President and Mrs. E. E. Kail was a picture which Mrs. Rail 
described with vividness more than thirty years later: 

"As I remember it, Edward (the Rail's twelve-year-old son) was 
quite ill with nephritis when his age group joined the church. Later, 
when Mr. Grote was ill for some length of time, my husband and I 
were visiting him and we spoke of Edward's missing the service. He 
suggested we bring Edward to his house and he would have the 
service there. So Edward joined the church in Mr. Grote 's bedroom. 
Just Ed, Edward, Mr. and Mrs. Grote and myself. It was a sweet, 
simple and impressive service." 




On May 12, 1935, the Reverend Dewey R. Eder began his ministry 
at First Church. Across the top of the bulletin which he carried into 
the pulpit with him that first Sunday he had carefully written, 
' ' Acoustican ! ' ' Just to be sure he wouldn 't forget to turn it on ! 

This desire to have the service flow smoothly never changed during 
his seventeen years of work at First Church. Everything was meth- 
odically planned so that there were as few distractions during the 
worship service as possible. Regular church goers eventually became 
aware that a discreet touch of a folded white linen handkerchief on 
Mr. Eder's forehead meant, "Please, some ventilation. It's stifling 
in here ! ' ' The ushers always got that message, and others, probably, 
which the congregation never caught onto ! This concern for a 
smooth-running organization was felt in all areas of the church at 

On May 26th, just after the Eders' arrival, one of the all Church 
School pageants, written for First Church, but published for use in 
the entire Evangelical denomination, was presented. This pageant 
was called, "Ambassadors of Peace," and it seems a strangely appro- 
priate title, for Mr. Eder's entire ministry was encased in a firm 
webbing of the struggle for peace and the effects of the aftermath 
of war. 

The social gospel was making its impact upon our culture, and 
Church pageantry reflected this. First Church young people became 
world symbols in "Ambassadors of Peace." John Riebel was World 
Missions ; Charles Daniels, Mars, the god of war ; Lola Fuhrman 
(Hornback), the Church; Muriel Sievert (Conners), Peace. The chil- 
dren's departments under their superintendents, Mrs. Rail, Mrs. 
Domm, Mrs. Fisher and Mrs. Muehl, all participated. Betty Lou 
Phelps (Reichenbacher) and Mrs. Henry Moy directed some of the 
groups representing missions in Africa and China. Mrs. Paul Mayer 
helped with the historic Japanese and American Doll-Exchange scene. 
The sanctuary and chancel were beautifully decorated by the Fidelis 
and Sigma Zeta Classes with Gordon Gamertsfelder as Chairman. 
Bishop S. P. Spreng impersonated a German minister and Mr. Kling- 
beil led the group in German songs. Karl Hochradel, a German stu- 
dent from the college, participated. 


The German scene in the pageant was one in which the theme re-j 
fleeted the statement which the Committee of Reference and Counsel 
of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America had made in 
their Fortieth Annual Report. The German Christians had said they 
fell an unbearable burden because "the treaty of Versailles forced the 
representative of their nation to sign the declaration that Germany 
alone was to blame for the World War. ..." The Conference of 
North America tried to bring Christian understanding in their state- 
ment, "... While conscious of incompetency to deal with any of the 
political implications of the question, which we approach only by 
reason of common spiritual concern with our German brethren, the 
members of the Committee of Reference and Counsel take this oppor- 
tunity of expressing the judgment that the World War was the in- 
evitable outcome of historical national rivalries which found expression 
in competitive military and naval armaments; and state their convic- 
tion that for the existence of these rivalries and their inevitable result 
in the World War, no single nation can justly be declared solely re- 

Rev. A. J. Boelter had his own particular methods of re- 
cruiting. He was much interested in individuals and families. 
Often when he was visiting in a home he would say to a 
talented child, "Johnny (or Susie), you certainly are cut out 
to be a missionary!" And Johnny or Susie would feel the 
call immediately! 

It was in the midst of these attempts on the national and local level 
to heal hurts and assuage breaches made by W T orld War I that Mr. 
Eder began his ministry at First Church. But it was also in the midst , 
of the sowing of Hitler's seeds of World War II. Almost at once ) 
First Church began to feel the depth of Mr. Eder's conviction that the i 
Church Universal must assert itself aggressively on the Peace road. 

We find many topics all through the church reflecting Mr. Eder's 
concern. Dr. Heininger in 1936 spoke on: "If Jesus Had Been a 
Militarist." Youth groups were selecting such topics as: "What Are 
Some of the Causes of War?" "What Keeps the War Tree Green?" 
"War and Its Horrors." 

Thought expressed in the bulletins were slanted toward this pas- 
sion for peace — e.g., Sundays of November, 1936 : 

Next Sunday morning: "Christians But Not Paci- 
fists ? ? ? ' Are you ready to put your convictions on 
record against war? 

Have you signed your pledge for PEACE ? See your 
pastor if you wish to do so. 
While the undercurrent of peace seemed to run through all chan- 
nels of church life, other social issues were receiving their measure of 


attention. After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the liquor problem 
was again before the public. Speakers such as Mrs. Ida B. Wise Smith, 
National President of the W.C.T.U., Dr. Albion Roy King, who spoke 
on: "The Psychology of Drunkenness," and Dr. Tripper of the 
Keeley Institute, were presented. Professors from the science depart- 
ment at the college spoke frequently to youth groups on such topics as : 
"The Physiological Effects of Alcohol." 

The W. C. T. IT. of Naperville had among its leaders a number of 
women from First Church: Mrs. E. Grant Simpson, Mrs. E. N. Him- 
mel, Mrs. R, Kemmerer, Mrs. 0. Mehnert, Mrs. August Muench, and 
others. Mrs. Lottie Holman O'Neil, representative from this district 
to the General Assembly in Springfield, and later the first woman 
state senator, spoke a number of times to the W. C. T. U. on alcohol 
and the way the issue was being handled in the state legislature. 

Mr. Eder, who often used the bulletin to present little homilies on 
matters of current moment, wrote in 1936 : 

According to the report of an insurance company, 
not one passenger was killed in a train collision or de- 
railment on an American railroad in 1935. During this 
same year 36,400 met their death on motor highways. 
While many factors contribute toward this condition, the 
fact that booze is taboo in an engine has much to do with 
railroad safety. 
Gifts for Sherwood Eddy's Cooperative Farm in Mississippi; col- 
lections for the Deaconess Hospital in Chicago (canned fruit, vege- 
tables, lard, butter, eggs, household linen, etc.) ; studies on the aware- 
ness of the Negro problem by the presentation of leaders like Mr. 
George Arthur, author of ' ' Life on the Negro Frontier ' ' ; visits to our 
church by groups of foreign children ; and the giving of money to help 
Bishop Stauffacher with the founding of the Chinese Conference all 
were in keeping with the social outreach of First Church. 

In 1937, the one hundredth birthday of First Church received 
recognition. In September there was a Preaching Mission to enrich the 
spiritual life of the church before the Centennial celebration. In No- 
vember a Teaching Mission was held with Professors Heininger, Him- 
mel, Kalas and Finkbeiner as leaders. The Naperville Evangelical 
Choirs presented a concert of sacred music ; Dean Charles Gilkey 
spoke at a Centennial Community Service ; and Bishop Epp preached 
on "Evangelical Landmarks." A Centennial Pageant consisting of 
ten historic tableaux was written and directed by Mrs. Thomas Fink- 
beiner as a climax to the celebration. 

An Institute of International Relations was held at North Central 
College for several summers in the late thirties. Such speakers as 
T. Z. Koo, Max Yergan, and Norman Thomas appeared on the pro- 
gram. Dr. W. A. Visser t'Hooft, brilliant international student 
leader, became a popular figure on the North Central campus and 
spoke a number of times. All members of First Church were urged to 
attend these meetings. 


Iii the next few years before the actual outbreak of World War IT, 
the Church entered with a good spirit into Community activities. 
Many attended Sunday evening services at Pfeiffer Hall in winter and 
in Central Park in summer. Dr. H. Augustine Smith appeared several 
times to present one of his world-famous pageants or his art exhibit. 
The charm of Central Park, before the days of elm tree disease and 
parking-take-all, was described in connection with one of Dr. Smith's 
art exhibits: "The Gothic arches of the elms of Central Park provide 
an inspiring setting for this service at the twilight hour." (Note: Tn 
case of rain meet at First Church.) 

The Naperville Council of Churches had three community goals 
Community betterment ; Week-day School of Religion, Vacation Bible 
School and Naperville Youth Council ; and Interchurch activities, in- 
cluding the community Sunday evening services. First Church gave 
the council its loyal support. 

In 1938 the combined choirs of First and Grace Churches sang at 
Orchestra Hall for the Sunday Evening Club. This was just one of j 
man}' instances of the growing cooperative spirit between the two 
churches. The college E. L. C. E. (Evangelical League of Christian 
Endeavor) alternated between the two churches for its meeting place. 
Grace and First held many Sunday evening services together. The 
Woman's Missionary Society often shared programs and speakers, j 
The names of Dr. and Mrs. Paul Eller, members of Grace Church who I 
had begun to travel widely, appeared often on First Church programs ; 
as they generously showed pictures and told of their travels to interest- J 
ing far-away places. Dr. Paul Keen came often to First Church to j 
show and discuss his growing Bible collection. In turn, members of ! 
First Church taught classes at Grace Church and presented programs, j 

The year 1940 at First Church, the last before our entrance into 
World War II, had many interesting events. Perhaps it was because 
it had started out beautifully. On New Year's Eve, a ''Service of 
Lights" was held in the sanctuary. Each member brought his own J 
light and the lighted candle held by each person as he left the service 1 
was the only light there was. Out into the cold, crisp, snowy night 
went dozens of glowing candles. Up and down and across every j 
street, the tiny flames pierced the darkness of the new year. 

On the wall of the tower exit hangs the following plaque: 

In Memory of 

G. B. Kimmel, D.D. 


Beloved Teacher 

Immanuel Bible Class 


On April 10, Dr. H. R. Heininger, who had served in many ca- 
pacities in First Church, was inaugurated as President of Evangelical 


Theological Seminary in the sanctuary of his home church. In May, 
a Naperville Music Festival was held in Pfeiffer Hall under the direc- 
tion of Dr. Frederick Toenniges, who later became director of First 
Church Choir. A ninety-piece orchestra, a massed chorus of the 
church choirs in Naperville, and a large Children's Choir from the 
grade schools under the direction of Arthur Hill (one-time First 
Church Choir Director), made this a spectacular event. This festival 
was broadcast over the Aurora radio station WMRO. 

On October 20th of this year, the long-dreamed of Victory Sunday 
was celebrated. Professor James Kerr, Building Fund Secretary, had 
previously reported that this date would be satisfactory, as the build- 
ing debt would be cancelled by this time. Dr. Rolland Schloerb, under 
whose capable guidance the Church School building had been erected 
in 1925, spoke on the subject, "A Channel for Christian Energies." 
Looming now on the horizon was the reality of the Evangelical 
merger with the United Brethren Church, and Bishop G. E. Epp 
brought an informative address in November on the subject, "The 
Proposed Merger with the United Brethren". 

Care of the church building has always been a matter of deep 
concern to the trustees, and although some work was done in 1940 — 
the Church School roof repaired, a platform built for the Junior 
Choir and the building redecorated in spots — the sanctuary seemed to 
call for a more complete redecorating job. In 1941 the trustees au- 
thorized new lighting and repairs to the auditorium ceiling up 
to $5,000. Rededication Sunday was October 12, 1941. A new 
grand piano for use in the Junior Choir loft was given by Mrs. Hof ert 
and her daughter, Wilma. Mr. and Mrs. George Wicks gave four 
elaborate church lanterns. The Homebuilders' Class erected a new 
sign for the front of the church. Mrs. Druschel, organist, gave fifty 
music folders for the choir. 

During this year, the urgency for educating for peace was greater 
than ever before. President Rufus Bowman of Bethany Biblical Sem- 

; inary of Chicago lectured on "The Quaker Philosophy in a World 

: at War ' '. A meeting was held in First Church for the members of the 
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Conscientious Objectors, and others in- 

, terested in peace. Money was collected for boys in army camps, and 
also for those in Conscientious Objector camps. One speaker from a 

j Christian Public Service Camp in Indiana told "What Conscientious 
Objectors Do." 

After December 7, 1941, all hope for peace was gone, but the desire 
for an ultimate peace was kept alive. In January of 1942, the congre- 
gation was urged to pause each noon as the twelve o 'clock whistle blew 
for a moment of intercessory prayer for our missionaries who were in 
constant danger, and for peace. 

In March of 1942, John Riebel and a quartette of young men from 
Merom Public Service Camp presented a program of music and short 

' talks on ' ' The Effect of the War on the Conscientious Objector. ' ' 
Mrs. Koerner's Church School Class served tea to the friends who 
attended. It had been reported that certain groups were not pleased 
that these men were going to speak, and that objections would be raised 
at the meeting. The young men, however, conducted themselves with 


such poise, dignity, and goodwill flint any who may have come to 
protest left without uttering- a word. 

Lists of our boys in service, with their addresses, began to appear 
on the bulletins. Letters were being sent regularly from our church 
and members were urged to write. One Sunday the altar table was 
piled with New Testaments which were to be sent to the boys. The 
s. ( ). S. Class did the mailing and addressing of the letters and pack- 
ages. On February 21, 1943, the fiftieth name was posted of men and 
women in the armed services. By November there were 83 names. On 
December 5 a meeting was held to honor all our members in national 
service. By May. 1945, the list on the Service Roll was 107. There 
were twelve honorably discharged. Two young men, Sgt. Paul Henslcy 
and T Sgt. Oliver John Ebinger, both employed on bombers over 
Europe, were reported as missing in action. Pfc. Arthur Schnabel 
was killed in action in France on March 16, 1945. 

Occasionally a little slip would be stapled to the church bulletin 
asking for signatures of donors to the Blood Bank. Henry Moy was 
in charge of this project. The women of the church were urged to 
help make surgical dressings. 

Word was received in September, 1942, that Dr. and Mrs. Paul 
Mayer would be returned on the next trip of the repatriation ship 
from Japan and that Miss Lois Kramer was well and would continue 
her work under limitations of war. She was interned in 1941, and it 
was not until September, 1945, that her family received word from 
Guam that Miss Kramer would be coming home. 

In the midst of the all-consuming cover of war, other projects of 
moment were going on in the church. In June of 1942, Mr. Eder joked 
about the unfinished parsonage repair job. To quote him: "Since- 
June 1st it has been 'Open House' at the parsonage: everyone could 
look straight through!" Thirty or more men came for a number of( 
evenings through the summer and early autumn, under the direc-i 
tion of Ed Miller, and the parsonage was ready for a real Open House', 
by November. Necessary modern changes were made without eliminat-/ 
ing the charm of many of the older features. Even though we still; 
find today on the north wall of the southeast bedroom upstairs a pic- 
ture of Mt. Fugi painted right on the plaster, nobody seems to mind ! 

Of course, it was essential to get the refurbishing done before the 
General Conference of the Evangelical Church met in Naperville. 
This was the last General Conference of the Evangelical Church before 
the merger. The Ladies Auxiliary had worked for months in advance 
to have food and shelter ready for the delegates who came October 
7-16, 1942. Of special interest to the members of First Church was the 
fact that this was Bishop S. P. Spreng's sixteenth General Conference. 
He had attended every one since 1883. 

During this period in the forties, a Week-Day School of Religion 
was organized by Professor E. E. Domm with Harriet Miller as the 
teacher; the Woman's Missionary Society celebrated its sixtieth anni- 
versary with a birthday party; the Centennial Session of the Illinois 
Conference of the Evangelical Church was held in Naperville; Mr. 


Quentin Lansman became the first Associate Minister, his main job 
being to work with the youth; speakers were beginning to use "Juven- 
ile Delinquency" as a topic. 

At the General Conference session a new pattern had been sug- 
gested for the youth work. On October 22, 1944, First Church was the 
scene of the transition from the old E. L. C. E. pattern to the new 
E. Y. F. (Evangelical Youth Felkrwship). Four commissions were 
appointed : Spiritual Life, Missions, Social Action, and Recreation. 
The Campus Youth Fellowship (C. Y. F.) and the Grace Church 
young people joined with First Church in a candle-lighting consecra- 
tion service. Both choir lofts were filled with dedicated youth. 

John Eigenbrodt and Martha Himmel became co-editors of the 
first paper for the Youth Fellowship of the Illinois Conference called 
"The Illini Courier." During the next few years Patsy Horman and 
Clyde Galow served as presidents of the State E. Y. F. 

The reorganization of the denominational young people's work dis- 
placed and augmented the work of the former Young People 's Mission- 
ary Circle. The group had been organized in 1913 as Young Woman's 
Missionary Circle. In August, 1916, dues are recorded as five cents a 
month. Names of some of the officers during these early years were: 
Mrs. C. B. Bowman, Ethel Spreng, Lillian Faust, Bertha Schutz (Shis- 
ler), Minnie Jaeck, Vida Good. Later, Mrs. E. E. Domm became presi- 
dent for several years. Study books, Happiness Boxes, Spend-a-Days 
were recorded in all records. Delegates were sent to all Woman's 
Missionary Society Conventions. 

Not without a struggle did some of the German- speaking 
people from the Old Brick Church give up holding services 
at the regular hours in their beloved language after they 
joined with the chapel congregation in the new church. It 
took an outspoken young man like Arthur Goodge to say 
indignantly to one of the most obstinate of the older opposi- 
tion: "But this is America, Mr. Brown. If we want to empty 
our church before we fill it. let us go on speaking German!" 

The group sponsored the Mother-Daughter Banquet in 1934. In 
the 1940 's they took their turn in arranging outstanding monthly dis- 
plays in the Missionary Visual Education Case in the second floor 
foyer, which had been presented to the church by the Clarence Egge- 
stein family. 

In referring to the group as the Young People's Missionary Circle, 
Helen Lueben writes humorously: "All records from 1933 on show 
Y.P.M.C., but nowhere can a boy's name be found on the membership 


Another change was taking place in the youth program of the 
church. This one was not brought about by the General Conference 


but by the War. On account of war restrictions the regular assembly 
was not held in 1945, and there were no services for the public at the 
('amp Grounds. This broke a tradition of Camp Meetings which had 
been in existence for more than a century. 

The Camp Meetings had played such an important role in the life 
of the whole area during the early years of the 20th Century that the 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (C. B. & Q.) trains stopped at a 
little station a mile or so outside Naperville so that the camp-meeting 
attendants could be discharged and board the trains there. The path 
is still visible where the thousands of feet made glad procession to the 
huge Ebenezer tabernacle and well-run hotel. 

For many, many years Professor E. N. Himmel taught classes at 
the campgrounds on the beauty and wonder of Nature. In 1958, he 
wrote "The History of Camp Seager, " in which he paid tribute to 
Dr. I. L. Schweitzer, District Superintendent, and to Mr. A. L. Tholin, 
both of First Church. Dr. Schweitzer w r as honored for successfully 
completing the involved transition of transferring the ownership of 
the Camp Grounds from a small group of shareholders to the Evan- 
gelical United Brethren Church, and for his vision of a larger pro- 
gram of improvements. Mr. Tholin, Administrator of Public Works 
in Chicago w<as credited with supervising the replacement of the old 
sanitary system and the building of a number of small cabins. 

Many other workers from First Church — camp directors, youth 
counselors, teachers, program supervisors, and preachers — made the 
camp alive and vital after it was converted entirely to Boys' and Girls' ' 
and Youth Camp. As the old Camp Meeting concept gave way to the 
vigorous accent on Youth which w T as permeating our Society, there t 
were those who worried during these years, lest the "Spirit" be lost. 
Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

The week of Youth Camp had every hour filled w r ith w T holesome 
Christian training: morning worship, classes in Bible study, church- ; 
manship, manners and morals, nature lore ; hours of recreation — swim- '■ 
ming in the beautiful Naperville Centennial Pool, baseball games of 
great rivalry, volley ball ; and early evening treasure hunts and stunt , : 

The most sacred time of all came on Saturday. All during the 
week preparation had been made for this time of dedication. On Sat- 
urday morning each camper with a small piece of note paper, a pencil, 
and an end of string, found a solitary spot somewhere on the big, 
shady camp grounds. There, alone w T ith his God, he w r rote a com- 
mitment — in his ow r n words, in his ow r n way — of how he would serve 
the Master. Then he gathered together a few tw T igs and tied his writ- 
ten words around the small bundle. 

That night when total darkness and peace rested on the green 
acres, the campers divided into four groups and went out into the 
night. First one group sang a beloved camp song, and then another, 
as each group moved slowly toward the campfire which illumined an 
enormous wdiite cross. Then Silence. One by one the campers dropped 
their faggots into the fire, which flared higher and higher as their 
commitments fused together. The night of silence held. 

In the soft Sabbath dawn, the campers came again to the cross. 


A communion table, covered with pure white linen, had been placed 
over the ashes of the commitment fire. The taking of the Lord's Sup- 
per sealed the dedication of the night of silence. 

The same summer that youth became the benefactors of the total 
campground program, the children of Naperville also had the oppor- 
tunity of attending a Laboratory School of Leadership Education. 
While this was a community venture, First Church gave a great deal 
of leadership to the project. Dr. Herdis Deabler, Dr. and Mrs. Milton 
Bischoff, Mrs. Oliver Kreimeier and Mrs. J. Ruskin Howe are a few of 
the names associated with the work across the years. Mr. Elmer Koer- 
ner (who has worked in First Church as orchestra leader, choir direc- 
tor and High School Department Superintendent), served for a num- 
ber of years as coordinator of the Laboratory School, which uses a 
North Central College dormitory for housing its visitors. He has this 
to say about the school: 

The Lab School does an excellent job during the week 
that they are in our midst each summer. Youngsters re- 
ceive a vital course in religious education. The School 
employs top-notch teachers who manage the children well 
and display their techniques to adults who wish to be- 
come teachers. The Lab School teaches teachers to teach ! 
Other adults were learning, too, during these years — learning facts 
about America. The relocation camps on the West Coast which fol- 
lowed the outbreak of the war had aroused both indignation and an 
awakened interest in our Japanese-American friends. At a meeting 
of Woman's Missionary Society in 1945, Mrs. Chee Yaginuma, who 
had come to Naperville to make her home, told of her experience in a 
relocation camp. The Yaginuma family have enriched the life of First 
Church to this very day. Mrs. Walter Klaas, who had worked in 
relocation centers, also gave many wonderful insights into this work. 

Another missionary concern of this era was the education of med- 
ical missionaries. First Church, at the recommendation of Mr. Lee 
Augustine's committee, voted to pay $900 a year to the support of a 
theological student who would also complete a medical education. The 
revolving fund was set up under the direction of Dr. Wilber Harr, 
and Lowell Gess of Nerstrand, Minnesota, was chosen as the first re- 
cipient. This is one of the most genuinely joyful arrangements the 
church has ever made. The furlough visits of Dr. Lowell Gess, with 
his educational slides of medical work in Africa, are anticipated by 
the entire congregation. 

Africa was very much in the thinking of First Church during the 
next few years. Dr. and Mrs. Ira McBride spent their furlough in 
Naperville then returned to Africa. Dr. and Mrs. Wilber Harr re- 
turned from Africa to serve on the faculty of Evangelical Theological 
Seminary. Mr. Chester Reinhart went out as a master builder to super- 
vise the construction of much-needed hospital buildings. His letters to 
his family in Naperville were so vivid that continued support was 
given to the work by the Immanuel Class and others. The reaching 


of Naperville into Africa was made very real as Mr. Reinhart told 
about his work and said, "I built the doctor a temporary place where 
he can perform operations inside screen, and built him an operating 
table similar to the one Dr. Hikli has in his office." (The Rikli family 
was prominent among First Church workers for many, many years.) 
So many graduates of North Central College were going out as 
missionaries, doctors, nurses, and workers to Africa that our Mission 
station became known as Little North Central in Africa. For a num- 
ber of years the students put on an annual service in First Churcfl 
telling about Little North Central and the Church Council kindly 
allowed the students to receive an offering for this work in Africa. 
It was always a generous amount, for the church is not only mission- 
minded, but it is said that when First Church assembles for worship 
there are more North Central graduates worshipping together under 
one roof than at any other spot on the globe! 

A Sunday of great celebration and thanksgiving was held in First 
Church on September 2, 1945. The war had ended ! Mr. Eder was 
assisted in this service of praise by Dr. Heininger and Professor E. X. 

This did not mean, however, the end of First Church's concern 
for world needs. It was but the beginning. Although the church had 
been sending items to suffering lands through outside agencies, now 
began the work under the guidance of Mr. Eder and a corps of dedi- 
cated w r orkers which made First Church, Naperville, known in count- 
less war-ravaged areas. 

The first big project was the sending of blankets to Europe. On 
the Sunday morning of the Dedication Service, September 29, 1945, 
the altar was piled high with dozens and dozens of blankets (almost 
200 of them). It was a gift from the church. Individual donors' 
names were not affixed, but each blanket bore the following inscription : ; 
"This goodwill gift sent by The First Evangelical Church, Naper-' 
ville, Illinois, U.S.A." 

A Woman's Sextette organized and directed by Mrs. Dewey 
Eder added much to the musical enjoyment of First Church. 
The women gave many concerts in churches in the surround- 
ing area. The original group consisted oj Helen Schmidt, 
Helen Welzel, Gladys Eder, Sadie Riebel, Erma Heininger, 
and Ethel Spreng, with Esther Stover as accompanist. 

The following March "Seeds of Goodwill" were sent to France. 
One hundred sixty family packages were prepared. Each package 
contained : 1 ounce each of carrots, broccoli, lettuce, brussel sprouts, 
spinach, endive, cabbage, red tomatoes, red beets, and turnips; one 
pound each of green beans, red kidney beans, and peas. To make the 


gift one which would truly express our love and goodwill, Made- 
moiselle Annette Sicre, dearly beloved Professor of French at North 
Central College, placed a greeting in French in each package which 
went back to her homeland. 

The warm bond of fellowship abounding in First Church was not 
for foreign consumption only. In his annual report, Mr. Eder ex- 
pressed his profound gratitude to the church : 

This is a good time for the pastor to record his appre- 
ciation of the freedom of the pulpit. Whoever preaches 
in First Church need never feel that he is muzzled. The 
people are a good listening congregation, a constant in- 
spiration and challenge to the mind and the heart of the 

There was a spirit of good fellowship with the town, also. The 
following note of acknowledgement from the Board of Trustees was 
written in January of 1946 : 

The Trustees gratefully acknowledge a Christmas gift 
of One Thousand Dollars from the Kroehler Manufac- 
turing Company toward the work of First Church. This 
is the second year that a gift of this amount has been 
received from our local company. We assure Mr. Delmar 
Kroehler and his associates of our deep appreciation of 
their generosity. 

George L. Wicks, President 
Willard L. Muehl, Vice-President 
Anton J. Senty, Secretary 

In June of 1946 First Church held a farewell party in honor of 
President and Mrs. E. E. Rail. Dr. Rail had retired after thirty years 
of distinguished service to North Central College. The church was 
honoring him for his contribution to the college founded in 1861 and 
nurtured by the Evangelical Church, but more than that, they were 
expressing appreciation for his faithful service as teacher, trustee, 
and worker on many committees at First Church. Gratitude was also 
expressed to Mrs. Rail for the years of great devotion she had given 
the Kindergarten Department as superintendent. 

In September of that year the new President of the college, Dr. 
C. Harve Geiger, and Mrs. Geiger were introduced to the congregation 
and were asked to remain at the altar following the service so that 
the congregation might welcome them. 

Dr. Geiger entered very soon into the work of the church by becom- 
ing one of the teachers of the Immanuel Class. A notice in a bulletin 
several years later told of Mrs. Geiger \s success as a writer. The 
invitation read : 

The College Bookstore invites members and friends 
of First Church to an "Autograph Party" in honor of 
Mrs. Geiger on Tuesday afternoon, April 8th, from 2 to 
5 o'clock when her new book, "The Lengthening 
Shadow", will be introduced. 
The impact of this book of religious poetry depicting events in the 
life of Christ, is still felt in the congregation. In 1961, Mrs. Vera Walz 


used selections from it for the worship portion of a Sheal ('lass guest- 
night dinner at the Student Union. 

On November 24, 1!>46 a panel appeared before the congregation! 
of the two Evangelical Churches to tell about the great event in Johns- 
town. Pennsylvania, which made them no longer Evangelicals, bnt 
Evangelical United Brethren. The delegates from Naperville, Dr. I. L. 
Schweitzer. Dr. C. J. Attig, Dr. Paul Eller, Dr. H. R. Heininger, 
President C. Harve Geiger, and the Reverend Dewey Eder, spoke on 
the subject: "Making History at Johnstown." And an interesting 
history it is. 

Entries in the journal of a United Brethren minister show that 
there were dreams of a union between his church and the Evangelical 
Association several years earlier than 1817, when representatives from 
the two denominations actually met to contemplate such a possibility. 
Even at this time they were conscious of the similarity in their back- 
grounds. Both were ministering in German to German-speaking peo- 
ple in America ; therefore their churches were often side by side in the 
same community, and there was much friendly cooperation and asso- 
ciation among the congregations of the two denominations. 

Always in a contemplated union there are compromises which 
must be made on both sides. Sometimes the cost seems prohibitive to j 
one party or the other. This time both hesitated. For one thing, the j 
Evangelicals were too much concerned with the ecclesiastical and the 
organizational to suit the United Brethren. They, on the other hand, •• 
with many Mennonite descendants in their group, were more inclined [ 
to let each congregation formulate its own rules and regulations. A ; 
modern church historian says : * ' Be that as it may, each group thought • 
so highly of its own ways that neither would compromise". 

Strange as it may seem, nearly a century elapsed before there was 
any further formal attempt at a union. This definitely did not rule j 
out all kinds of informal fraternizing at k k grass-root ' ' levels. Both i 
denominations were much devoted to fighting sin and all kinds of evil 
by strong Evangelistic methods through ' ' camp-meetings, protracted ; 
meetings, and revival meetings". Both were people by tradition and 
faith who were greatly concerned about human need and suffering 
everyAvhere, not only in this country but in other parts of the world. 
In fact the establishment of missionary societies came simultaneously 
in both denominations. 

At the close of the century, an important delaying agent was the 
split among the Evangelicals. Even at this time, both parties to the 
schism kept in touch with the United Brethren Church. A bishop from 
the Evangelical Association spoke of his church and the United Breth- 
ren Church as the "conservators of Christian orthodoxy". A bishop 
from the United Evangelicals, addressing a general conference of 
United Brethren said : "I know of no doctrine of the United Evan- 
gelical Church that yon do not believe and teach." 

It is no wonder that with these words of encouragement from both 
sides, two bishops from the United Brethren should turn up in Chicago 
in 1911 at that important session of the sundered church. Politely and 


firmly the bishops were told in effect: We Evangelicals have to get 
our own family a little better united before we start joining up with 
any of our neighbors, no matter how much we like them. Again at 
the time of the Union of the Evangelical Association and the United 
Evangelicals in 1922, practically the same request was made by the 
United Brethren, and the same refusal was given. It was not until 
1933 that a bishop from the Evangelicals presented to a general con- 
ference of the United Brethren an offer of readiness for union. After 
eight years of careful and sagacious study on the part of a small com- 
mittee consisting of three representatives from each denomination, 
they were able to present a Basis of Union very widely acceptable to 
both churches. And so, in line with the modern tendency for union 
among the protestant churches, the Evangelical United Brethren 
Church came into existence in Johnstown, Penn., on Nov. 16, 1946. 
Another occasion for joy and thankfulness! Too bad Miss Bucks 
couldn 't have attended this union too, and bequeathed to us her glow- 
ing account of the heart-warming experience of singing "Lead On, 
King Eternal" and "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds" with the hun- 
dreds of people crowding the doors and aisles of the spacious church 
that memorable day ! 

It is amazing how closely tied are sermon topics and speakers' 
themes to the life of the age. About the time of the Union, the issues 
were: "The Battle After the War", "My Country and I", "Foxhole- 
less Faith", "Human Relations in Industry", "Russia and the 
Atomic Age", "Mental Health", "What Does God Want Us to Do 
About Russia?" 

It is a tradition of First Church to use a bulletin cover 
depicting the work of the YMCA at the time of the annual 
drive. Many men and women of the church are very active 
in the local YMCA as board members, campaign workers, 
and group leaders. 

Always, always, First Church was aware of its world obligation. 
In 1948 an Easter offering of $1500 was asked, and with a sense of 
apology it was earmarked for "local use" for the first time in years. 
However, the congregation was assured that anything labeled "for 
relief" would be so used ! To keep the personal and affectionate touch 
in our giving, the church sent to the pastor in Dresden, Germany, 
where the Evangelical Church was totally destroyed by bombs, the 
silver communion set and baptismal bowl which had been used in 
the Old Brick Church. 

Before North Central College students left for vacations at home, 
they brought extra clothes and shoes to the church. Mrs. J. S. Gam- 
ertsfelder, Mrs. R. Kemmerer, Mrs. Ira Oertli, and others, headed the 




dozens of women who were devoting many hours every week to mend- 
ing ami making completely wearable the clothes brought in. The 

bombed-out peoples in Europe did not even have needles, thread, 
buttons or scraps for doing their own mending. First Church ex- 
pressed appreciation to the men who did the heavy work of preparing 
the boxes for shipping — Bradlee, Werner. John Eisele. and Fred 

Letters told that people in Germany were using hunks of clay 
for soap, and so "Grease for Peace" became a by-word, and every bit 
of waste cooking fat was saved and sent to be made into soap for ship- 
ment abroad. 

The wells of compassion were not limited to adults. The Youth 
Council of Naperville collected 1500 pairs of wearable shoes. The 
State E.V.F.. headed by a Social Action Chairman from First Church, 
collected almost $1600 to use to buy goats for Japan. Letters from 
Germany to our youth, such as the one which follows, kept them eager 
to build the bridges of understanding over "all the unblessed con- 
traries of nations." 

We wish to thank you heartly for your rich and 
beautiful gifts for Christmas. Surely you are enjoyed 
to know to whom they have come and which happiness 
they prepared. Our house belongs to Evangelie-Luth- 
eran church to the Union for Inner Mission in Nurem- 
berg. We are a sanatory for tuberculoses children and 
on the Christmas days we had 110 children in our sana- 
tory. Children are here for a few months by inspection 
of a physician. Amongst them there is a great deal 
having lost their parents or their home during the war 
and we often don't know how to get clothes or stockings 
or linen for them, because the few things bringing with 
are so teared. that is it hardly possible to mend them. 
Opening the packets to distribute the gifts for the chil- 
dren on the Christmas-tables by growing-up persons, 
there was a great happiness and rejoicing about the 
pretty and useful things being visible choosed and 
packed up with great love and careness. It is a wonder- 
ful experience for us to feel how communications of 
faith is a real bridge over all the unblessed contraries of 

We wish you might have been able to stay a little 
amongst us at the Holy Evening to experience how chil- 
dren when they had attentive listened the story of Christ- 
child and had astonished the tree with the lights and 
the cril) were standing rejoicing before their gift-tables 
how their eyes were lightning and how they often could 
not believe that this or that present should belong to 
them. Herefore we thank you once more very heartly 
particularly in the name of our little patients, send you 
our best wishes for the new-begun year and reach you 
in mind our hand about the ocean! 

Yours sincerely Hedwig Furst 


individual families of First Church still treasure letters written 
in German which came to them from some family they had chosen to 
help. One Junior High School boy became fast friends with a German 
lad his own age. After the American family had sent several pack- 
ages of used clothing, and Helmut in Germany had written letters of 
appreciation for clothes which fit him exactly, the First Church lad 
insisted that when a new jacket or sport shirt was purchased for him, 
one also just like it be bought and sent in the next box to Helmut. 
The First Church family income was limited and this was explained. 
The boy simply answered: "Then I'll take less myself. I don't want 
to send only my old stuff to Helmut," A real bridge? Yes! 

During the summer of 1948 Reverend Eder, Reverend Andrew 
Kurth (former Administrative Dean of North Central College and 
active member of First Church), and Reverend Wilmert Wolf (pastor 
of Grace Church) joined a group going- to Europe. The church had 
given Mr. Eder a Bon Voyage gift which was to be used to enrich his 
travels. In keeping with the empathy he had for the stricken people 
of Europe, he used part of it for purchases of Care packages and for 
other benevolent negotiations at such places as Stuttgart, Frankfurt 
and Hamburg. Upon their return, the pastors of the two Naperville 
churches gave a Sunday evening series to their combined congrega- 
tions on the theme : ' ' Reflections on a Continental Journey. ' ' 

A steeple-eye view of the church in the changing years of the late 
forties and beginning fifties would include : 

Frequent visits to the church by Julian Gromer, well-known pho- 
tographer of far-off lands and America, making use of the new, large 
movie screen which could be set up in the sanctuary. Also, educational 
hours for many groups with the Reverend Howard Orions of Wiscon- 
sin, who had become a nationally known ornithologist ; and an ac- 
quaintance with Rosa Page Welch, noted singer and lecturer who pre- 
sented the negro's role in our land with great insight — 

A "Thank-you" to Mr. Will Frederickson and Ed Miller, ushers in 
the balcony, which was filled each Sunday with North Central College 
students, for "putting so much congeniality into their duties as 
ushers ' ' — 

When the Federal Supreme Court decided that released time for 
Religious Education Classes could no longer be available in public 
schools, Mrs. Violet Bischoff met the sixth and seventh grade young 
people of First Church for classes in Christian Education immediately 
after school every Tuesday — 

A tribute paid to Mrs. L. H. Seager, who had come "to the end of 
a highly useful earthly pilgrimage. Her presence in turn graced the 
parsonage, the College President's home, and the Bishop's residence. 
With equal grace she lived victoriously in the years of retirement"— 

A. Fellowship Class was formed by a group of couples who had 
previously belonged to other classes where the men and women me1 
separately. The husbands and wives of this group, whose children 
were leaving home for college, marriage, and jobs, decided they want- 


c(l to be together for Sunday morning Bible study of a serious nature, 
as well as for social evenings adapted to the "bifocal club." The class 
lasted only a few years, but memories of those hours with like-minded 
couples are very dear to many whose 1 lives are now set in different 
molds — 

Miss Leona Kietzman and Mrs. Gideon Broberg, leaders of a group 
of First Church ladies, made drapes for the church parlors and the 
Pastor's study from material bought by the Ladies' Auxiliary — 

A Lrlassed-in broadcasting booth set up in the balcony above the 
.Junior Choir where Professor Guy Eugene Oliver and his students 
broadcast the services of First Church over the North Central College 
Radio Station. WNCC, to the shut-ins of Xaperville. Those confined 
to their homes were linked to the church in worship — 

An altar in the parlor chapel, made by Arnold Wolf, and dedicated 
in honor of Mrs. S. J. Gamertsf elder, teacher-emeritus of the Work- 
to-Win Class — 

The Immanuel and Sheal Classes decided to join forces for the 
study of the lesson each Sunday morning. -However, the Sheal Class 
lias kept its identity and has regular social meetings on the first Tues- 
day of each month. (An interesting item: the Sheal Class has met for 
its June picnic at the farm home of Mrs. Myrtle Boebel every June for 
more than thirty years. With tables set on the lawn or in her home, 
according to the weather. Mrs. Boebel has always had a generous 
supply of fried chicken for the whole group!) — 

The joy of Mrs. Vernon Farnham and the children shared by the 
congregation as Dr. Farnham, after many months of detention in Red 
China, sailed from Hongkong, homeward bound — 

Students in C.Y.F. discussing such topics as "Should my negro 
brother become my brother-in-law ? ' ' — 

North Central students. Gudrun Frese of Germany and Toshio Ota 
of Japan, reading the Scripture one Sunday — first in English, then 
in their native tongues. 

To see First Church pass in panoramic procession is to witness the 
tremendous changes made in a short period of time. Some changes are 
of local origin. Others are brought about by legislative measures 
passed at General Conference. This was true in the establishment of 
the Women's Society of World Service. The 1951 Discipline of the 
Evangelical United Brefhren Church gave the regulations for forming 
this organization, which would unite all the women's work of the 
church into one fellowship. 

When First Church decided to have this unified program, the 
Ladies' Auxiliary, which had been such a powerful force in the church 
since 1908, ceased to exist. Mrs. Geggenheimer was chairman when 
the auxiliary was organized, and Mrs. Paul Zimmermann was the last 
chairman before the new era began. In between these two women the 
names of the following appear as chairmen: Mrs. John Manshardt 
( !) years i. Mrs. W. W. Spiegler (8 years), and varying lengths of 
service for Mesdames Rickert, Coultrap, Schaefer. Koehler. Muehl. 
Xolte, Reinhart, Eggestein and Hooten. First Church is grateful to 


these women and their hundreds of helpers through the years for the 
excellent dinners which were prepared. (Just reading Airs. Man- 
shardt's private diary of auxiliary work with menus ranging from 
roast chicken to chop suey. makes one hungry!). The banquets served 
to church and college were unlimited — College and Seminary Alumni ; 
Booster Clubs; Father-Son and Mother-Daughter; Woman's Club 
luncheons; North Central Homecoming; Annual Seminary Banquet: 
Junior-Senior and Football Banquets; Weddings; YWCA and Big- 
Little Sister; Faculty-Trustee; and any or all types of dinners, recep- 
tions and banquets asked for by the church. No matter what the pres- 
sure, however, the Ladies' Auxiliary steadfastly refused through the 
years to sponsor public dinners where the tickets were to be advertised 
for sale. 

The Woman's Missionary Society, also, no longer existed as a sep- 
arate entity. The tremendous influence of this organization for promot- 
ing world concepts of brotherhood among all ages in the church can 
never be estimated. Acting as sponsor for the Little Heralds, Mission 
Band, YWMC (or YPMC), as well as doing adult work, the leaders 
saw to it that all programs had a sound educational foundation and a 
depth of perception which led to a true understanding of other peoples 
of the world. Among the women who served as presidents of this group 
from 1912-1951 were: Mrs. A. J. Boelter, Mrs. S. J. Gamertsf elder, 
Mrs. G. Kimmel, Mrs. D. W. Staffeld, Mrs. E. E. Domm, Mrs. Frank 
Umbreit, Mrs. Chester Attig, Mrs. E. D. Riebel, Mrs. J. N. Lehman, 
Mrs. Clarence Eggestein, Mrs. Lester Schloerb, Mrs. H. R. Heininger. 

In February, 1951, the new organization of Women's Society of 
World Service (WSWS — pronounced Wiss Wiss by the initiated) 
was completed. The election of officers took place at the annual Birth- 
day Dinner. The nominating committee consisted of Mesdames Egge- 
stein, Koten, Michel, Schultz, Bradlee, Lehman, and Stover. All 
women over 18 who were members of the church were entitled to vote. 
The election results were as follows : President — Mrs. W. C. Harr, 
Vice-president — Mrs. A. J. Senty, Secretary — Mrs. Harold Henning, 
Treasurer — Mrs. P. G. Gamertsfelder, Sec. of Spiritual Life — Miss 
Ethel Spreng, Local Activities — Mrs. Paul Zimmermann, Social Rela- 
tions — Mrs. Henry Moy, Missionary Education — Mrs. L. J. Schloerb. 
Circle Leaders: Number 1 — Mrs. Charles Schuler, Number 2 — Mrs. 
Lester Stover, Number 3 — Mrs. Don Jamison, Number 4 — Mrs. I. A. 
Koten, Number 5 — Mrs. C. H. Eggestein, Number 6 — Miss Leona 

The WSWS has continued to serve the church in every facet of its 
total life. Through the afternoon and evening circles, all women 
have an opportunity to make a contribution. Mrs. Harr, who began 
the work as president of the new organization in First Church, proved 
such an able administrator that she was later elected to serve as 
president of the General Women's Society of World Service for the 
entire Evangelical United Brethren Church, which is a department of 
the Board of Missions. 

The change-over to the unified work among the women in the local 


church was not the only major change in First Church in 1951. It 
was also the time when an early morning service was initiated in the 
social parlor at 8:30. The "parlor-chapel", with the addition of altar 
and hangings, became a popular place for worship. After the sched- 
uled five-Sunday trial run, the council decided to continue this early 
service until further notice. 

An even greater change outwardly came in the remodeling: work 
done. The floor of the sanctuary was refmished and new carpeting 
laid in the chancel and aisles. The old carpeting was placed in the 
balcony. New heating units, a new ceiling in the banquet room, new 
washroom facilities, robing rooms for the senior choir, and the renewal 
of the hearing aid system, were all a part of the improvement pattern. 
The room behind the pulpit, which once served as the pastor's study, 
now became a well-planned workroom with counter space and cabinets 
for the use of altar guild and communion stewards. 

When the sacrament of Holy Communion is shared in 
First Church, the reality of the priesthood of believers, in 
which every person is not only his own priest but priest to 
all other worshippers also, is emphasized. It is a true wor- 
ship experience both to speak and to hear the words: 
At the Communion of the Broken Bread, 

The Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His body for thee, 
preserve thy soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat 
this bread in remembrance that Christ died for 
thee. Feed on Him in thy heart by faith with thanks- 
At the communion of the Wine, 

The Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for thee, 
preserve thy soul unto everlasting life. Drink this 
cup in remembrance that Christ shed His blood for 
thee. Partake of Him in thy heart by faith with 

A memorial gift of $5,000 by Air. and Airs. S. J. Lang of Detroit 
in honor of Mr. Lang's uncle. Professor E. E. Domm. had inspired 
the total program. The congregation set its financial goal at $35,000, 
of which $29,000 was raised by cash and pledges in November, 1950. 
The gift of Air. and Airs. Lang was used for the building of the new 
chancel, which has greatly enriched the worship of First Church. 
After careful research, the symbols of the chancel were meaningfully 
interpreted by Airs. Floyd Shisler, who has made the care of the altar 
and the training of the acolytes an act of sincere dedication. We 
quote Airs. Shisler 's words: 


The center aisle serves an important symbolic function. It 
has been called "a parable of the Way of Life reaching from 
birth to the Throne of God." It should be left open, a sign of 
the individual's free access to God. 

The Christian altar is a perpetual reminder of Christ's death, 
the one full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for all time. Here in 
gratitude we offer our gifts to God : bread and wine, sanctified in 
remembrance of our Savior's suffering and triumph; money, con- 
secrated to the building of His Kingdom ; flowers, to commemor- 
ate our Lord's resurrection. 

The cross on the altar is the symbol not only of the passion of 
Christ but of His triumph. On either side of the cross are candles 
to remind us that Christ is the Light of the World. One stands 
for His divine nature; the other for his human nature. On the 
cross are the letters I H S, the first three capital letters from 
the Greek word for Jesus. 

The ever-burning light above the altar lifts our eyes, our 
thoughts, our hearts to the ever-living, boundless love of God our 
Father. On the front of the altar in the center is the hand-carved 
symbol, "The Lamb of God" (Agnus Dei), the most beautiful of 
the ancient symbols to represent the Son of God. The head sur- 
rounded by the three-rayed nimbus signifies divinity, the banner 
indicates victory. The Lamb lies on the book of seven seals de- 
scribed in The Revelation. The sheaf of wheat and the cluster of 
grapes symbolize the Bread of Life and the Blood of Christ. 

The principal carving on the pulpit is the open book, the Word 
of God open toward the people. On the lectern the cross and the 
crown remind us of Christ's suffering and His reward. 

The shields of the four Evangelists on the wall from left to 
right are : St. Matthew, a winged man ; St. Mark, a winged lion ; 
St. Luke, a winged ox; and St. John, a winged eagle. These 
signify the humanity, the royalty, the sacrifice, and the divinity 
of Jesus. 
The dedication service of the new chancel took place on Palm 
Sunday, March 18, 1951. Mr. Lang participated in the service and 
Bishop Stamm read these words as a part of the service of dedication : 
Bishop Stamm : In grateful remembrance of all who have 
loved and served the church and who have joined the Church 
Triumphant: and in special memory of Professor Edward E. 
Domm, faithful teacher of the Christian truth, willing counselor 
of teachers, friend of children and youth, devoted Christian 
minister and servant of the church ; 
People: We dedicate this chancel. 
Gifts for the chancel began to come in. A fund started by Marietta 
Hoffman Lambrecht at the time of her wedding resulted in two 7- 
branch candelabra; the Ira Oertlis gave two candle lighters and 
snuffers ; Coral Manning donated a Prie Dieu in honor of her mother ; 
the neighbors of Miss Emma Martin gave new bread plates for the 
Communion Service in her honor. 

The two exquisite old pulpit chairs with their cathedral type 
backs placed on either side of the chancel had been used almost a 


hundred years ago in the Old Brick Church. The chairs had not fitted 
into the square, heavy pulpit appointments of the 1912 chancel and 
so they had been relegated to a storeroom. However, they had not 
been idle. College students had discovered that the chairs made 
elegant thrones for the crowning ceremonies of the May Queen. They 
had even gilded the chairs to make them stunning for the May Day 
festivities with their red velvet baeks and seats. The chairs did not 
lose their church relationship even on the campus, however, for they 
were often sat upon by our own Naperville Evangelical May Queens. 
The first was Ruth Gamertsfelder, of the Class of 1915. Others 
from our two churches who have graced the "throne" were: Mil- 
dred Mover Stauffer, Lois Rieke Stauffer, Dorothea Kimmel, Helen 
Dewar Norton, Ruth Groves Riebel, Phyllis Schendel Wedsworth, 
Dorothy Juhnke Kolb, Monie Gamertsfelder Kinney, Mary Lee 
Siemsen Wolf, Barbara Irwin Thompson, Donna Siemsen Larsen, 
and Mary Ann Uebele Sroufe. Probably Barbara Thompson in 1950 
was the last queen who sat upon one of the chairs. Luckily Arnie 
and Bea Wolf discovered them and refinished them to match the new 
chancel. In restoring the chairs to their original beauty, the Wolfs 
forged a visual link with the historic Old Brick Church. 

For a number of years the Palm Sunday procession by 
the Junior Choir was given special beauty as the children 
in their fresh, snowy-white surplices marched down the cen- 
ter aisle of the sanctuary carrying palm branches sent from 
Florida by the Reverend and Mrs. Harold Oeschger, who 
serve our church in St. Petersburg. Mrs. Oeschger is Mrs. 
John Hornback's sister. 

It is also of interest to note here that the change in the chancel 
marked the passing of full-scale dramatic productions in the church. 
The big old circular platform could no longer be fitted on its wooden 
horses between altar rail and chancel. For more than thirty years 
plays, pageants, tableaux, and pantomimes had provided an outlet for 
creative energies. Professor and Mrs. Guy Eugene Oliver gave great 
leadership in this field. Many times, more than 200 people took part 
in the productions. Other names which come readily to mind for 
leadership in this are Jamison, Eigenbrodt, Finkbeiner, Moy, 
Daniels, Seager, Stoos, Hornback, Heininger, Eder, Schmidt, and 

So many were the achievements of Reverend and Mrs. Eder in 
the service of First Church, and so vital had been their relationship 
to the church members, that it w T as to a shocked and unbelieving con- 
gregation on May 11, 1952, Reverend Eder preached his farewell 
sermon entitled "Uncharted Voyage." 



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First Church C h oi r , middle 
1930's, under direction of "Prof." 
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merically! Standing, left, Dewey 
Eder, pastor, and Freda Druschel, 
organist. At right, Claude Pinney. 

Claude C. Pinney 

Director First Church Choir 



Front row: Chester Attig, William Ritzert, Dewey Eder (pastor), Floyd 
Shisler (head usher), Edward Domm, Guy Oliver. 2nd row: Wilmert 
Wolf, Clarence Erffmeyer, Harold Schmidt, Willard Muehl, Herdis 

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Dr. Wilmert H. Wolf 


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Evangelical Theological Seminary 


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Dr. Arlo Schilling 

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Chinese note of gratitude (1947) for cloth to make clothes. For clearer 
comprehension begin reading at upper right hand column! 

The old chancel, wood paneled, with a door at center back. Pulpit cen , -'i 
tered, with altar rail enclosing the chancel which had steps to left andj 
right, it typified the "Akron" style of architecture. The chancel is shown 
ready for the wedding of Betty Muehl and Jack Lyden. 

The new chancel, with carved altar, divided chancel, 
eternal light. The liturgical emphasis in worship has 
been evident since the dedication of the chancel in 1951. 







When the realization came that the Eders had chosen to go out 
into wider fields of service, the congregation showed their high esteem 
and affection by presenting their minister and his wife with a new, 
black Chrysler. Reverend Eder wrote his final little homily to his 
people in these words: 

It would take "the tongues of men and of angels" to express 
the gratitude which we have in our hearts as we leave First 
( hurch. The past is flooded with pleasant memories which we 
will cherish as long as we live. The generous gift of a shiny new 
Chrysler sedan was altogether unexpected — a complete surprise. 
How it was done and with such secrecy will always amaze us. 
Any attempt to express our appreciation in words might be like 
a "noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." So, as St. Paul ad- 
monished, we will say it in LOVE enriched by seventeen years of 
your genuine Christian affection. 
Here might end the story of the Eders' ministry at First Chnrch, 
but the greatest tribute that can be paid to them is to let Professor 
W. H. Heinmiller describe what happened in the congregation when, 
after World War II, Mr. Eder asked that warm, practical cloaks of 
Christian love and fellowship be thrown about the shoulders of cold, 
hungry neighbors across the ocean : 

In June, 1946 Mr. Eder developed the project of sending 
cereal to Europe. After extensive investigation it was found that 
the Ralston-Purina Co. had developed a mixed cereal with high 
food value which they would sell at low cost. Since the amount of 
money to pay for a carload, about 50,000 pounds, was more than 
First Church could shoulder alone, the churches of the Illinois 
Conference were invited to participate and many responded. 
The total cost for cereal and transportation was $4,970 of which 
First Church paid $2,206. The food was distributed overseas 
through Church World Service. 

In August, 1946, in conversation with Missionary Sundberg 
of China, Mr. Eder found that the pastors (native) of our church 
in China were in need of new suits or the conventional Chinese 
long garments. After scouring wholesalers and mills for the 
desired cloth, a mill was found in Pawtucket, R.I., which had 
just the required amount of suitable cloth. We had it shipped to 
the West Coast for Mr. Sundberg to take along on his return to 
China. The cost was $230. The results are recorded in the many 
letters of gratitude from Mr. Sundberg and a number of the 
Chinese ministers. 

In March, 1947, a sizable shipment of dry milk was made to 
Dr. Paul Mayer in Japan at a cost of $127. 

In the same year two shipments of insulin were made to 
Evangelical hospitals in Germany. Each of these contained 
100,000 units. The Squibb Pharmaceutical Co. was very co- 
operative both in the matter of price and in preparation for 
shipment. Cost $370. 

In July of 1947 First Church gave $1,000 to the American 
Friends Service Committee (Quakers) toward their Child Feed- 
ing Program. 


At the same time a sewing machine, sterilizer and sewing 
supplies were purchased for Miss Justine Granner, Missionary in 
China. The sterilizer pressure cooker was not to be used for 
medical purposes, but to make it possible for the missionaries to 
cook a variety of beans which could only by this method be made 
soft enough to eat. Food was very scarce. 

The next project was really unique. In the fall of 1947 it 
came t<> our attention that a young man. the grandson of one of 
our pastors in Germany, was in need of assistance to continue 
his medical education. His family were Quakers and he had 
served in a non-combatant capacity in the medical corps of the 
German army. He had contracted tuberculosis and been sent to 
Switzerland. lie wanted to continue his medical education there, 
but had no funds. 1 1 is father had a fair income, but there was 
oothing in Germany to buy with the money nor could they send 
it to Switzerland. So an interesting plan was developed whereby 
we agreed to furnish the money for eight months. This was sent 
through the missionary office of the denomination to a repre- 
sentative of the church in Switzerland and he paid it to the young 
student. In turn, his parents agreed to pay back the money on an 
agreed basis of exchange to the pastor of the Evangelical Church 
in Kassel where they resided. Our church there had been com- 
pletely bombed out. They paid back every dollar and the money 
was used toward the rebuilding of the church in Kassel which is 
in the American zone. Later Gert Legatis returned cured to 
Germany without interrupting his medical education. He is 
today a specialist in internal medicine, practicing in the city of 
Ihmover. He is married to the daughter of the celebrated Bishop 
Lillje. One of the best investments we made. Cost $675. 

In February, 1948 we raised $1,850 toward the purchase of 
a portable chapel for Berlin or Dresden. One could be purchased 
in Switzerland for $5,000. In Dresden all three Evangelical 
churches were totally destroyed. 

In addition to these special projects hundreds of CARE 
packages of food and many packages of clothing were sent. In 
December of 1946 alone, 210 CARE packages at $10 each were 
sent. The postage and express on clothing shipments amounted 
to $381 for the period 1945-1948. There were also money contri- 
butions to the relief work of the American Friends and the 
Evangelical United Brethren Church. First Church raised a 
total of $11,628 for relief work overseas in this period and that 
without any urging or pressure. 





And now one hundred and fifteen years have passed in review. 
There are but ten years left to be accounted for before the day when 
"Finis" will be written to this history of First Church. Before that 
last word, it would be a powerful revelation if the unique contribution 
of each of more than a thousand members could be recorded. And yet, 
it is the composite of these countless offerings of time, talent, and 
money, on the human side, which sustain the Church and make it the 
channel by which the love of God is brought to man. Individuals and 
organizations, many and diverse, serve only as the vehicles which 
carry forward the story of the real purpose of the Church. 

As the present day multi-colored workings of First Church are 
separated, accented, and evaluated, they are set in the background 
of an awakened appreciation for a rich liturgical heritage, centuries 
old. The new chancel dedicated by Reverend Eder shortly before the 
close of his ministry, opened the way for his successor and the congre- 
gation to bring new dimensions of dignity, beauty, and liturgy to the 
worship services. 

The altar flowers for January 13, 1952, were the gift of 
Mrs. Carrie Rariden, in memory of her grandfather, the Rev- 
erend Jacob Schaefle, who was a pioneer preacher in the Mid- 
dle West 100 years ago. His first convert in Cedar Falls, Iowa, 
was Mrs. Barbara Pfeiffer^ to whom the Barbara Pfeiffer 
Memorial Hall at North Central College is dedicated. (Music 
School a.nd auditorium) 

When the Illinois Conference met in 1952, the choice of a new 
minister for First Church, Naperville, lay upon conference leaders. 
Wisely they chose a man in the prime of life, who had shown a 
creative approach to his work in guiding the renewal of St. John's 


Church in Rockford, Illinois, and for whom the Liturgical service is 
the embodiment of the oneness of the church for all men through all 
ages. The Reverend Paul Washburn, with his wife, Kathryn, and 

their four children, Mary. .Jane. Fredrick and John, were welcomed 
to First Church at a reception on .June 11. 1952. 

While summer is usually a slow-paced time, that of 1952 proved 
to be an exception. Back in October of 1951, at a fall fellowship 
dinner, the trustees had been authorized to sign a contract for a new 
Renter organ for approximately $25,000, to be "dedicated to Cod 
in honor of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Wicks". Shortly before this a 
hint from Dewey Eder to Delmar Kroehler as to the congregation 's 
dire need for a new pipe organ prompted the Kroehlers to contribute 
half of the sum. The other half was easily "lifted" from the con- 

Delmar Kroehler 's father, Peter Kroehler. was the brother of 
Mrs. Wicks. Mr. Wicks served for more than a quarter of a century 
as a trustee of our congregation. He and Mrs. Wicks were faithful 
workers in many phases of church life. Their relatives and friends 
were happy to honor them in this way. 

On July 13, 1952. a Sunday morning- prelude recital was played. 
It was the musical farewell for the old Moeller organ, some of whose 
parts were too excellent to be discarded when the new organ was 
constructed. It had served well for forty years. Mrs. Harold Schmidt, 
one of the choir soloists, was chairman of the organ committee and 
devoted herself completely to this work through a long, busy summer. 
Even though yawning holes and stretches of canvas faced the congre- 
gation, and there was no organ to use. the summer months found 
people still enjoying Bach and other great composers at the worship 
services. Two-piano selections were played for preludes and postludes. 
For many months to come a piano had to be used continually for the 
hymns and anthems. The organ itself was not delivered until early 
December, from Lawrence. Kansas, through snow-laden western states. 

The Dedicatory Recital, set for January 4, 1953, was played by 
John Eigenbrodt. who had helped in the planning of the organ. He 
returned from his studies at Yale Divinity School, where he was 
organist at Marquand Chapel, to play the recital. His selections 
included compositions by Dunstable. Brahms. Bach. Handel, and by 
the contemporary composers, Hindemith, Widor. and Messiaen. 

The organ itself, built by the Reuter Organ Company, contains 
thirty ranks of pipes in four sections as follows : 

The Great Organ 

8 ft. Diapason 73 pipes 

8 ft. Melodia 72 pipes 

3 ft. Melodia 73 pipes 

8 ft. (icmshorn 73 pipes 

1 ft. Octave 73 pipes 

2 ft. Fifteenth 61 pipes 

2 2/3 ft. Twelfth .... 61 pipes 

The Choir Organ 

8 ft. Viola 73 pipes 

s ft. Bourdon 73 pipes 


8 ft. Dulciana 73 pipes 

8 ft. Unda Maris 61 pipes 

4 ft. Flaute Traverso.72 pipes 

2 2/3 ft. Nasard 61 pipes 

2 ft. Blockf loete 61 pipes 

8 ft. Clarinet 73 pipes 

Swell Organ 
16 ft. Lieblich Bourdon 12 pipes 

8 ft. Diapason 73 pipes 

8 ft. Gedeckt 85 pipes 

8 ft. Salicional 73 pipes 

8 ft. Voix Celeste .... 61 pipes 

8 ft. Spitz Flute 73 pipes 

8 ft. Flute Celeste ... 61 pipes 

4 ft. Principal 73 pipes 

4 ft. Lieblich Flute . . 73 notes 
2 2/3 ft. Rohrnasat ..73 notes 

2 ft. Flautino 61 notes 

3 rks. Plein Jeu 

(mixture) 183 pipes 

8 ft. Trumpet 73 pipes 

8 ft. Oboe 73 pipes 

4 ft. Hautbois Clarion 73 pipes 

Pedal Organ 

16 ft. Diapason 44 pipes 

16 ft. Bourdon 32 pipes 

16 ft. Lieblich Gedeckt .32 notes 
16 ft. Gemshorn 12 pipes 

8 ft. Principal 32 notes 

8 ft. Bourdon 12 pipes 

8 ft. Still Gedeckt ... 32 notes 

8 ft. Gemshorn 32 notes 

5 1/3 ft. Twelfth 32 notes 

4 ft. Choral Bass .... 12 pipes 
4 ft, Lieblich Flute . . 32 notes 

16 ft. Trumpet 12 pipes 

8 ft. Trumpet 32 notes 

The organ is completely equipped with couplers, with adjustable 
combinations, with combination couplers, and the entire organ is 
under expression. It is played from a three-manual and pedal console. 
The console is of draw-nob design. The action is electro-pneumatic. 

5fC ■ 5JC q§E 5jC 

From the time of the installation of the Moeller organ in 1912, 
which had been one of the most important and expensive innovations 
in the new church, until the rebuilding of the organ in 1952, "First 
Church has been widely known for the high quality of its ministry 
of music". The skill and devotion of Freda Schwab Druschel was a 
continuing link which helped make the music outstanding. Paul Zim- 
merman reported: "Young Freda Schwab, with great elation and 
talent, began her years of service when she wjis barely out of high 


school". Her contributions to the total life of the church through 
forty-one years of service can never be estimated. Her early Christmas 
morning recitals became a tradition. Even though Mrs. Druschel has 
been in California since If).")?, each Christmas dawn the majestic 
March of tin M<i</i can he heard in memory's ear by many a wor- 
shipper at First Church, so real had the journey of the wisemen be- 
come through her organ interpretation. Appreciation was expressed 
to Mrs. Druschel in many ways, but perhaps the memento which binds 
her most closely to First Church is the beautiful pin which was made 
from the key to the old Moeller organ and presented to her at the 
time of her farewell reception. 

When Mrs. Druschel began her long career as organist. Will Unger 
was choir director. About a year later. Dr. C. J. Attig, Professor of 
History from North Central College, became choir director. "His 
musicianship extended beyond that of choir director. His rich baritone 
voice was heard frequently with much appreciation by the congre- 

If the Evangelical United Brethren Church had the tradi- 
tion of calling the church home of the Bishop a Cathedral, 
First Church would be a Cathedral five times over! Five 
Bishops have belonged to First Church: S. P. Spreng, L. H. 
Seager. J. S. Stamm, G. E. Epp, and H. R. Heininger. 

Shortly after the First World War, when there were more men 
again in the choir, Professor Claude C. Pinney, new head of North 
( 'entral College School of Music, became the director of the choir. 
Paul Zimmermann said of him: "He soon acquired the familiar and 
affectionate nickname of 'Prof.' He gave his students at the college 
to understand that he expected them to participate in the choir and 
there was no question about it! Once accepted, through tryouts, no 
one was allowed to be absent without an excuse — just as in college 
classes. Replacement was supplied by the choir member himself. 
'Prof was a disciplinarian in all aspects of choir activity, and the 
technical perfection attained was a direct result of this. The ensemble, 
diction, and interpretation always made the anthem a high point in 
the worship service." All of our choir directors but one have been 
associated with North Central College. 

The choir sometimes gave concerts in the surrounding community 
and it was booked as "The College Choir of First Evangelical 
Church." At one time when money was scarce, a suggestion came at 
a church meeting that a retrenchment on choir expenditures might 
be advisable. Bishop S. P. Spreng, who was known for his ability as 
a great pulpit orator, put all his eloquence into play and described 
how First Church choir was known throughout our denomination. 
He called Evangelicals "a singing people" and insisted that our col- 


lege church must continue to lead in the field of music. There was no 
retrenchment ! 

During the ministries of Mr. Schloerb and Mr. Grote, church serv- 
ices were held every Sunday night, and even the balcony was filled 
with college students who came directly from their campus E.L.C.E. 
meetings. The entire choir sang faithfully at these evening services 
under the direction of Professor Pinney. However, in the middle 
thirties, when the depression fogs began to lift and money became 
more plentiful, people liked to use Sunday afternoons and evenings 
for long-deferred visits with near and distant family and friends. 
During Mr. Grote 's ministry the evening choir began to give way to 
special numbers : solos, duets, and small ensembles. At the beginning 
of Mr. Eder's ministry, the choir no longer appeared for evening 
services. The full choir evening presentations since that time have 
been limited to special occasions and sacred concerts for the Lenten 
and Advent seasons. 

Because of ill health, Professor Pinney found it necessary to resign 
in 1942. First Church will be eternally grateful to him for the 
standards of musical perfection he set, and for the personal devotion 
which he gave and expected of choir members. (Now, ten years after 
"Prof" Pinney 's retirement from North Central College, he is still 
teaching music at Sacred Heart Academy, a few miles east of Naper- 
ville. He was also directing an Episcopal Church choir at Downers 
Grove until June of this year.) 

A new type of missionary effort, a real sample of Chris- 
tian Social Relations, is being carried on by one of the 
young men of our congregation who is with the Peace Corps 
in Nigeria. Jared Dornburg's regular job is teaching history 
and government in the Birnin Kudu Secondary School, Kano, 
Nigeria. This vacation time he is teaching native primary 
teachers who desperately need practice in using the English 
language. He, in turn, is studying their language, Hausa. 
You remember that our Dr. Ira McBride translated the Bible 
into Hausa while he was in Africa. 

Mr. Hill, who was Director of Music for the Naperville Public 
Schools, was selected as Choir Master and served a very effective 
directorship from 1942-45. Due in large part to Mr. Hill's enthusiastic 
cooperation and intelligent leadership, the choir maintained its well 
coordinated ministry of music. It was with reluctance that Mr. Hill's 
resignation Avas accepted, but the congregation wished him God-speed 
as he moved to Wisconsin to take up new duties there. 

"After a long and diligent search a new director was found in Mr. 
Floyd Tompkins, a new resident and voice teacher in Naperville. 
During this period of the war, there was a precipitous drop in student 

participation in the choir. Seeking enlarged opportunities for the 
teaching of voice in Chicago, Mr. Tompkins resigned in May, 1948." 
A young ministerial student. Edgar Cook of California, was doing 
outstanding work with the Evangelical Theological Seminary choir 
at this time. He was secured to direct First Church choir and until 
1951 when lie accepted a call to become pastor of First Congrega- 
tional Church of Downers Grove, he gave First Church inspired 
musical direction. His work with youth groups, as well as with the 
choir, brought into play his talent for relating drama and music, and 
the modern musical idiom began to he translated for the First Church 

During these years, coordinated programs with the Junior Choir 
were greatly anticipated by music lovers. Mrs. Dewey Ecler had 
organized .Junior Choir work in 1988. By January of 1939 there were 
54 boys and girls of junior age enrolled, and the limit for seating and 
for surplices had been reached. A waiting list had to be started. In 
1948 new vestments for the choir were made by women of the church. 
The project was supervised by Mrs. L. H. Seager, avIio spent much of 
her last summer helping get the robes ready. Miss Leona Kietzman 
finished the task and the robes were worn for the first time on 
October 3, 1948 at the World-Wide Communion Service. Gladys 
Eder's ability in choosing selections which were musically sound and 
yet well adapted to children's voices made her choir one of the real 
assets of the worship program. Her extraordinary talent in this field 
is still being recognized, for the Junior Choir she directs in the Com- 
munity Church in Beirut, Lebanon, where she and her husband have 
served since leaving First Church, has received wide acclaim. 

Since 1952 there have been a number of Junior Choir directors 
who have served well. Regular participation in the eleven o'clock 
service, however, has been discontinued; and the Junior Choir loft, 
which was located to the east of the sanctuary behind the huge sliding 
door, has been made into a worship assembly room for the Junior High 
Department. The Junior Choir (now Carol Choir) under the direc- 
tion of Mrs. Melvin Gabel, senior organist, and the Gloria Choir, 
under the direction of Mrs. Frederick Toenniges, sing on alternate 
Sunday mornings at the early service. 

The work of Vera Matzke Gabel at First Church as organist con- 
tinues the tradition of organists of superior musicianship. In the 
period between Mrs. Druschel and Mrs. Gabel, Mary Washburn 
Smith, also an accomplished organist, served with distinction for 
four years. All three organists took their preliminary work at North 
Central College School of Music, as did the assistant and substitute 
organists over the years. Included among these in recent years are 
such fine musicians as Miriam Attig (Mast), Marietta Hoffman 
(Lambrecht), Valerie Uebele (Dudley), Caroline Hubbard (Adams), 
►Sharon Boelter. 

While no receptions have been given and no awards made to Paul 
Zimmermann, the church is greatly indebted to him for his contribu- 


tions in many fields. Ever since the twenties he has been an anchor 
and mainstay for the musical group. Many of the anthems remain 
rooted in our memories because of the moving interpretation given 
the tenor solo parts by Mr. Zimmermann. He has worked untiringly 
with the choir from the days when it was an all-student choir to the 
present time when the group is made up entirely of First Church 
members. This choir of townspeople is present for the holiday services 
of Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. The exquisite cantatas, 
oratorios, and anthems furnished during these sacred periods of the 
church calendar are greatly appreciated by the congregation. 

One choir member has said, "The choice of Dr. Frederick Toen- 
niges (for choir master in 1952) was a most fortunate one. This was 
demonstrated from the first Sunday he took over the director's re- 
sponsibilities. During these past ten years his vast fund of knowledge 
in music, combined with many years of experience as an orchestra 
director and teacher, has made it possible for our choir to continue 
to provide a high quality of service to the church in the ministry of 
music. Mr. Toenniges has a keen sense of dedication to his work, 
combined with musicianship of a high order." Dr. Toenniges pos- 
sesses a consuming interest in choral work in the modern idiom. Numer- 
ous anthems and cantatas, such as the following, have been added to 
the repertoire during his service as choir master: Te Deum — Flor 
Peeters; Peaceable Kingdom — Randall Thompson; Cherubic Hymn — 
Howard Hanson. 

On the Sunday of February 25, when Jarvis Spreng repre- 
sented First Church congregation by being the Anniversary 
Person wearing the Anniversary stole, it was fifty years to 
the day from the time his grandfather, Bishop S. P. Spreng, 
had dedicated the sanctuary. 

Mr. Toenniges completely designed and installed an elaborate 
recording system which makes it possible for the choir to evaluate 
their singing before public presentation. Dorcas Toenniges, who helps 
in all these musical ventures, is a tremendous asset to the choir, for 
she can direct with competence in her husband's absence, as well as 
make contribution as soprano soloist. 

At the present time the three choirs are designated as Sanctuary 
Choir (Senior), Dr. Toenniges choirmaster; Gloria Choir (Inter- 
mediate), Dorcas Toenniges, director; and Carol Choir (Junior), 
Vera Gabel, director. 

The musical contribution to the worship service by organist and 
choir has been a source of constant joy and cultural support to Pastor 
Washburn. His bent toward a service with liturgical validity became 
evident almost from the first. Very soon after his arrival terms such 
as "liturgist," "versicle," "Tre Ore" and "acolyte" began to appear 


on the bulletin. The early service was referred to as "Morning 

Prayer." Worship at 8:30 was held during the summer months in 

the Chapel Parlor until 1956. In May of that year this weekly event 

was transferred to the Sanctuary of the church and has continued 

there since that time all the year round. 

* * * * 

As Mr. Washburn took an overall view of his new parish, he saw 
that a class needed to he formed for the young people who were be- 
yond high school age hut not yet eligible for the young: married 
classes. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Stoos were chosen as sponsors for the group. 
The Young Adult Fellowship became an active and vital part of the 
church, and for four years served in many areas. The publishing of 
the "Tidings" began under the sponsorship of the group. Mrs. Stoos, 
who had been professionally trained in editorial work, gave splendid 
guidance to this project. "Tidings" is still the news-carrier for the 
church. There were many good times, as well as many serious, 
thoughtful periods, for these young people. This is the age in life, 
however, of fluidity and movement, and the changes in membership 
occurred so rapidly and brought so many diverse personalities into 
play that the group could not maintain its identity. Nevertheless, 
several permanent attachments were made ! The president and secre- 
tary of the group became Mr. and Mrs. Ted Rock wood. Several other 
marriages resulted from the friendships originating in this group. 

Another class which had been a very forceful one in the late 
thirties and during the forties, the Homebuilders, now changed the 
course of its program. The group, first organized in September, 1938, 
under the excellent sponsorship of Lester and Sarah Schloerb, began 
a combined program of study on Sunday mornings and social events 
during the week. 

Al Fink was the first president and Dr. Harold Eigenbrodt was 
the first guest teacher. As long as he lived, Dr. Eigenbrodt felt a 
special fondness for the Homebuilders, and no matter how busy he 
was, he always said when asked to teach the class, "Can't let my 
Bomebuilders down!" — and he would teach a new series for them. I 
Among the teachers who guided the discussions were Professor George, i 
Professor Finkbeiner, and Pastors Washburn and Wolf. By 1958 so 
many of the group were serving in places of leadership in the Church 
School that it was decided to continue only as a social group. The 
bond of fellowship is still there, however, and the three events a 
year are well attended: the Christmas potluck ; the Heart Couple 
banquet, and the summer picnic. For many years the hospitable 
sponsors entertained the entire group with their growing families at 
the Schloerb summer home on Golden Lake. In 1954 there were 101 
present ! 

Such classes as the Homebuilders. designed for couples, often seem 
to flourish most successfully while the children are being "taken" 
to Church School, and then diminish in power as the children begin 
to leave home Fortunately, now classes form to replace the discon- 
tinuing ones. In 1!»47. a class which began by calling themselves "The 
Young Couples' Chiss" (sonic years later simply "The Couples' 
(lass"! was instituted. The organizing couples were the Oliver 


Schleuters, the Richard Koehlers, the Howard Michels, and the Don 
Rhodes'. Mr. and Mrs. Obed Albrecht were asked to sponsor the 
group and for the past fifteen years have given splendid guidance. 
Miss Alma Hanneld, the present teacher, prepares a stimulating 
lesson each Sunday morning. (Miss Hanneld is a professional secre- 
tary and her lesson guides are meticulously typed and mimeo- 
graphed!) The class also has four separate groups which meet on 
various evenings for the type of "Christian dialogue" which Pastor 
Washburn advocates often in his sermons. The resource group leaders 
for 1961 were : Dr. and Mrs. F. W. Boelter, Professor and Mrs. Wil- 
liam Naumann, Professor and Mrs. James Will and Professor and Mrs. 
James Stein. The Couples' Class has had many projects to help meet 
world needs : goats and a portable organ for pastors in Japan ; sewing 
machines to the Philippines and Africa ; money for projects in 
Canada, Illinois, Ecuador (for a primary teacher), and Puerto Rico. 
They paid for a tutor to help a Hungarian refugee student at North 
Central College. Altogether this class has given about $6,000 for 
benevolent enterprises. 

On Confirmation Sunday, which comes at the conclusion 
of the two - year catechetical program, each confirmand 
comes to the altar and kneels. The pastor presents each child 
with a wooden cross, on which his or her name and the date 
are inscribed, which then is held as Dr. Washburn lays his 
hands on the catechumen's head and says: 

Defend, O Lord, this child with Thy heavenly 
grace, that he may continue Thine forever, and 
daily increase in Thy Holy Spirit more and 
more, until he comes into Thy heavenly kingdom. 

Another class which is making its presence felt in First Church 
is known as T.N.T. (Twenties and Thirties) Class. Mr. and Mrs. A. 
L. Tholin gave four years of devoted service as teachers of the class. 
Then Mr. Vernon Hoesch served as teacher and under his guidance 
the class undertook a project of supporting two students at the Ifugao 
Academy and at Union College in the Philippines. 

Under the leadership of Professor James Stein, an "out of high 
school" age group has again been formed. Perhaps classes for these 
young adults can best be started as the need arises. The very nature 
of the group, the poised-for-flight period of life, makes it impossible 
to establish a permanent class. Departure for college, marriage, and 
jobs in distant places keep the membership in a constant stage of 

The ebb and flow of Church School classes becomes apparent only 
when a long view is taken. In any given period of time there is a sense 


of stability and accomplishment. While aware of the areas where im- 
provement might be called for, Pastor Washburn felt the solidity of 
the Church School work as he began his ministry in 1952. lie eonld 
turn his energies to "the weaving of the fabric of love" out of whicti 
he desired the visible garment of Ins congregation to be fashioned. 

In September, 1952, the Council of Administration (which until 
1945 had been known as the Church Board) voted to institute a two- 
year program of catechetical instruction. Pastors Schloerb, Grote, 
and Bder had held a series of Pastor's (Masses for boys and girls in 
the period before Easter. The following interpretation of the new 
plan was given by Mr. Washburn : 

"The decision for a two-year program was based upon our convic- 
tion that the study of our faith is of prime importance. It was de- 
cided to call it a Confirmation Class because the ultimate goal of this 
program is to lead members of the class to a Confirmation of Christ as 
Savior and to a confirmation of the responsibility for the living of a 
Christian life." 

The church bulletin is often thought of as the guide to the Sunday 
morning worship service and the carrier of the week's activities. Both 
Pastors Eder and Washburn have used the bulletins (which were in 
printed form from September, 1948 on) for molding the thinking of 
their congregations. The meaning of advent, of communion, of bap- 
tism, and of spiritual preparation for Easter were brief excerpts from 
the pen of Dr. Washburn. 

In 1953, First and Grace met together on Wednesday evenings 
during Lent Avhile Reverend Wolf and Reverend Washburn united 
their efforts to bring colloquies on "Intimations of Calvary in the 
Life of Jesus. ' ' 

This year also saw the beginning of the Lenten breakfasts for 
men, which have been continued through the years with deep spiritual 
meaning. In 1954, breakfasts were served for the youth of the church 
and these too have become an annual event during the Lenten season. 
A Lenten Bible Class for the women of the church has been held an- 
nually on Thursday mornings, with the pastor leading in discussions 
of challenging and inspirational books by such outstanding modern 
thinkers as Reuel Howe, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 

To keep in sacred memory the names of loved ones of First Church, 
Miss Wilma Schell presented a delicately wrought '"Book of Re- 
membrance" in memory of her mother. When new pages are added, 
the book is sent by the Memorial Committee to Boston where the " en- 
grossing and illuminating are in the noble tradition of the ancient 
arts. Those skills originated in the early Middle Ages when the monks 
patiently and laboriously copied the early Christian manuscripts with 
deft and facile hands. All the records of this book will be carefully 
executed hand-lettered certificates. To achieve this result, pure gold 
will be blended with a variety of colors of ink. These will be applied 
to fine parchment." 

The beautiful repository for the ''Book of Remembrance" Avas 
given in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John Arends by their family. Mr. 
Arends was chairman of the Board of Trustees of First Church for 


many years. The repository stands at the center back of the sanctuary 
against the north wall. Each week a different page is turned for 

Only once has the book been removed. On May 9, 1954, the citation 
and medal given to Miss Lois Kramer by the Emporer of Japan 
rested in the repository so that all the congregation might see it. Miss 
Kramer had been so honored by the Emperor for her outstanding 
work as a missionary and as one of the founders of the Deaf-Oral 
School in Japan. 

* * # * 

While 1953 saw the link with the past made real through a Book 
of Remembrance, it also saw the forging ahead in many places. On 
June 25, 1953, the uniting and first session of the Illinois Conference 
of the Evangelical United Brethren Church was held in First Church. 
On July 7-9 Illinois Branches of the Women's Society of World Serv- 
ice held their merging convention at First Church in Naperville. Also 
in July, a dinner was given in honor of Dr. Paul V. Church, the newly 
elected superintendent of the Naperville district. 

In the fall of that year, appeals again were made for good, warm 
clothing. Dr. Lowell Maechtle, chairman of the Social Action Com- 
mittee, was supervising the sending of clothes to Korea. 

In November, WMAQ and WNBQ broadcast and telecast a series 
of Thoughts and Prayers by Dr. Washburn. Recordings of medita- 
tions and prayers were used to open and close NBC's radio and tele- 
vision day in the Chicago area during that month. 

The world situation is often made vivid to First Church as 
friends returning from distant places tell of their experi- 
ences. On July 6, 1960, Dr. and Mrs. Harold Schendel, who 
had returned only a few days before from South Africa 
where Dr. Schendel was working on problems of nutrition, 
told a thrilling and disturbing story of how they joined with 
others in an effort to help avert a political catastrophe in 

On January 1, 1954 the Washburn family held their traditional 
afternoon and evening Open House for the congregation and friends. 
The trustees assisted. A pleasant diversion was the display of poetry 
by members of the congregation for the Christmas season. It is Pastor 
Washburn's deep concern that religious and philosophical concepts 
be expressed through the creative arts. He feels the love of God should 
cause the worshipper to bring forth praise through original poetry, 
art, and music. He urges his people so to express their exultation. 

During the summer a large new pulpit Bible was given in honor 
of Professor M. E. Nonnamaker, who had been the Sunday School 
Superintendent at the time of the building of the new unit. 


September 5, 1954 was the last Sunday Clyde Galow was in his 
home church at Naperville before lie left for England to prepare for 
missionary work in our African mission. 

The General Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren 
Church, which met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in li)-*)-!. elected a member 
of First Church to the Bishopric. \)v. II. R. Heininger, then serving as 
President of Evangelical Theological Seminary. At the farewell 
party for the Heiningers, many warm congratulations and expres- 
sions of goodwill were offered to them, hut there was a certain sadness, 
too. The loss to First Church of one of its talented families was real, 
and the personal loss of warm friendship was real, also. 

Back in 1945, the Report of the Administrative Council had given 
the following item of business: "The trustees were instructed to in- 
vestigate and take the necessary steps to incorporate First Church 
with the Secretary of State (This suggestion has been made by Bishop 
George E. Epp for specific legal reasons. ) " However, the culmination 
of that suggestion, for various reasons, did not come to pass until ten 
years later. On February 20, 1955, the congregation was given a 
mimeographed document, along with the bulletin, at the 11 o'clock 
worship service. The document set down the resolutions which had 
to be adopted by our congregation before our church could become 
an incorporated church. The trustees had been instructed at the an- 
nual meeting of the congregation in May, 1954 to secure a corporate 
charter for our church. They could not complete their assignment 
until the resolutions were adopted. 

First Church furnished eight branch (Illinois State) of- 
ficers for Mission Band work: Miss Clara Rickert, Mrs. Wil- 
liam Schutte. Miss Gertie Rickert, Mrs. H. C. Gegenheimer. 
Mrs. J. C. Schaefer, Mrs. Floyd Shisler, Mrs. Amelia Umbach. 
Mrs. Clarence Eggestein. 

At 11:40 o'clock, the minister concluded his sermon and held a 
brief congregational meeting. The resolutions were adopted, the 
Doxology sung, and church was dismissed at 12 o'clock as usual. 

The Easter season at First Church was a sad one in 1955. On 
March 24. Maundy Thursday. Dr. and Mrs. Milton Bischoff and their 
small daughter, Joylene, were killed in an automobile accident. They 
were on their way to the church where Reverend Bischoff was serving 
as pastor. Dr. Bischoff was head of the Bible Department at North 
Central College and Mrs. Bischoff had been well-known for her 
children 's work in our denomination. Both had served as leaders 
in the field of Christian Education. Our minister, who had taught 
Religion at Rockford College, completed the year of teaching in the 
Bible Department at the college in Dr. Bischoff 's place. 

Running all through the history of First Church is this thread of 
interrelationship with the college. With the changing times, the 
nature of the relationship has changed. This was evident in the 
50 's, when both First and Grace congregations dispensed with serv- 
ices in their own churches and went to Pfeiffer Hall to join in the 
College Baccalaureate Service. The college had changed its Com- 
mencement program schedule. Baccalaureate was now in the morning 
instead of the afternoon, and the graduation exercises were on Sunday 

The joining of the two churches in the service was rather symbolic 
of the changing relationship of the churches and the college. It 
marked a turning point. The college had shared in the church — the 
church was now sharing in the college. 

For many years after the union of Zion and College 1 Chapel 
Churches, First Church was considered the College Church. Mr. Eder 
had once written : 

When First Church was built in 1912 it was designed 
to be a Church Home for students of North Central and 
Evangelical Theological Seminary. During these four 
decades thousands of young people have worshipped 
here and hundreds have sung in its choir. Among those 
whom we welcome today are many new students. We 
pray that all may feel the warmth of God's Spirit at 
work in our great congregation. On Sunday evening, 
October 14th, First and Grace Churches will hold their 
annual 'At Home Night' when we will have an oppor- 
tune to get better acquainted with you in our homes. 

On Ash Wednesdays of 1960 and 1961 an Agape (Love) 
Feast was held. The atmosphere and mood of the ancient 
Christians (160-235 A.D.) were recaptured. In complete sil- 
ence the worshippers entered a Palestinian-type garden 
for the washing of hands. The bread was broken from the 
round loaf by the ministers and taken by each communicant. 
The simple food in baskets was passed from one to another 
as hymns were sung and scriptural exhortations given. It 
was an hour of preparation for the coming of Easter. 

The holding of the joint Annual At-Home-Night was but another 
indication of the cooperatively sponsored college activities which had 
once been concentrated in First Church alone. The reunion of the 
Association and United Evangelical Churches had made the college 
the school belonging to all Evangelicals. In addition, when Reverend 
Wilmert Wolf became a professor at the college, he was a member of 


First Church and was one of the professors who taught the college 
class of more than 200 students. Later, when Mr. Wolf became pastor 
of Grace Church, the close tie to his Alma Mater held, and Grace and 
Firsl Churches shared, in a new way. a mutual concern for the re- 
ligious life of the students. 

With the coming of Chaplain George St. Angelo to the college in 
1956, a different approach to campus religious life naturally was 
inaugurated. For a while the ministers. Sunday School superin- 
tendents and college representatives worked together to formulate a 
college-church program. But with the building of the new Student 
Union both the Sunday School and the Youth Fellowship meetings 
were moved to the campus. Also, in place of the old type of Religious 
Emphasis or Week of Prayer in which the churches once shared quite 
extensively, modern Student Retreats have been instituted which are 
very inspirational to students, but in which the churches have no part. 
Despite this separation, which by the very structuring of a new pro- 
gram was inevitable, both First and Grace Churches have a large 
number of students who worship with them on Sunday morning. 

The mutual debt of First Church and the college to each other 
can never be truly evaluated. Just in the area of Church School 
superintendents who have served in the new building, it is interesting 
to note that every one has either been a college or seminary professor 
or a graduate of North Central: M. E. Xonnamaker, Edwin Theiss, 
Harold Heininger, E. X. Himmel, E. D. Riebel. C. E. Erffmeyer, I. A. 
Koten. C. .1. Attig. H. L. Deabler, Harold Schmidt, Henry Moy, 
Vernon Hoesch, Jarvis Spreng. 

Another rewarding relationship over the years has been that of 
First Church and the Evangelical Theological Seminary. Professor 
James Stein of the Seminary has given us some interesting facts con- 
cerning this relationship in three different areas: 

1. The pastoral ministry of our congregation has 
been out 1 that in the main has been trained at the 
Evangelical Theological Seminary. Since 1910, with one 
exception, all the men who have occupied First Church 
pulpit were graduates of this seminary: W. A. Schutte, 
A. .1. Boelter, R. W. Schloerb. W. E. Grote. Dewey Eder, 
and Paul Washburn. In 1929. the seminary inaugurated 
its Field AVork Program — a plan whereby young semi- 
narians might receive practical pastoral experience in a 
local congregation while they continued their seminary 

Since that period a long list of student ministers 
have served both in various capacities in the worship 
and work of First Church and have been served by 
their experience in the work of the congregation. More- 
over, a number of young men of our congregation have 
received their ministerial training at Evangelical Theo- 
logical Seminary. 


2. The congregational life of First Church is like- 
wise affected by the seminary. A number of faculty 
members and their families have been active participants 
in various phases of church work. The plaques on the 
walls of onr church tower express the contribution of 
some of those who in the past played a significant role. 
These men served as Sunday School teachers and offi- 
cers, trustees, guest preachers, etc. Their wives were 
active in choir, Sunday School, and in the Women's 
Society of World Service locally and denominationally. 
Mrs. Wilber C. Harr is currently President of the Gen- 
eral W.S.W.S. of our denomination. 

3. The seminary has made good use of First 
Church's physical accommodations. Most of its large 
public services, such as baccalaureates and commence- 
ments, have been held in this sanctuary. The last three 
seminary presidents, Dr. Kimmel, Dr. Heininger, and 
Dr. Eller, were installed at services held in our sanc- 
tuary. The installation services for a number of semi- 
nary professors have occurred at our church as well. 

Perhaps there is some signficance in the fact that the 
sanctuary of our church and the administration build- 
ing of the seminary had their cornerstones laid within 
a few months of each other. The former was laid in 
1911; the latter is designated "1912." Moreover, Levi 
Goehring, a graduate of the seminary, was the con- 
tractor who built both bindings. These facts signify 
more than that both institutions moved into more 
commodious plants about the same time ; they further 
indicate a common desire to build greater and better 
to glorify God. 

Since the coming of Pastor Washburn, eight Church Life 
Retreats have been held. Full-scale schedules for the coming 
year were presented by the chairmen of the various commit- 
tees. Church leaders received inspiration and information 
at these retreats. Wheatland Salem Church has frequently 
been the site of these retreats. 

One of the pictures of First Church which emerges over the years 
is one framed by its good neighbors : the Seminary, the college, Grace 
Church, and other neighboring churches. For a number of years many 
of the churches of the community joined in a September reception 
for the North Central students and welcome speeches were given by 
pastors of the other churches. The Good Friday service for the com- 
bined Protestant Churches of Naperville has been an annual worship 
experience in First Church for more than a quarter of a century. 


The Christmas Eve Service of 1956 was made especially meaning- 
ful as laymen of the Methodist Church joined the men of First Church 
in serving the communion emblems To the joint congregations. (The 
Methodist Church was being rebuilt following a fire.) In I960, the 
members of the newly organized United Presbyterian Church shared 
in the Christmas Eve service. The Reverend Kenneth Lehman assisted 
Pastor Washburn, and six men from each church served communion. 
With other Naperville churches cooperating, an inter-racial camp, 
under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. Chester McMartin of First 
Church, was held at Camp Seager, 1960 and 1961. Negro and Indian 
children from Chicago were welcomed. 

Our neighborhood extended even farther, when in 1956 the Lom- 
bard Mission was established. By 1 i MS 1 . First Church had contributed 
nearly $20. ()()() for this project. The Reverend Ted Rockwood. who 
had been recommended to the ministry by First Church, was the 
minister of the new mission church of the Illinois Conference. The 
fund has been continued each year through 15)62. 

The word "fund" has found its way onto these padres again and 
again. Innumerable special projects have brought forth generous 
responses which usually exceeded the asking. This, in addition to the 
regular budget. Through the years the sending of ("ARE packages 
has been a favorite individual contribution. 

Like so many other areas, the pulse and conditions of the times 
can be felt in the budget of the church. Mr. Vernon Hoesch. of the 
Board of Stewards, has prepared an interesting table showing the 
total amount raised for all purposes for ten year spans: 

1910 $ 8.518 29.81 average per member 

1920 $16,510 36.69 

1930 $17,527 27.29 

1940 $13,360 18.79 

1950 $44,236 53.00 

1960 $70,401 66.00 

1962 $75,890 70.00 

It is only fair to point out. however, that the average per member 
in 1910 represents more sacrifice than the much larger sum today. 

William Kilgus inspired and directed the congregation's most 
recent improvement in stewardship. He did this by reinstituting the 
H very-Member Canvass which had been neglected for a number of 
years. Early attempts at this were disappointing, but chief Steward 
Kilgus persisted and succeed 


The conference program, "Faith at Work." is an attempt 
to inspire churches to go far beyond what is required of 
them in their giving — a go-the-second-mile type of sacri- 
fice. First Church responded to this program by moving up 
the amount paid to the Illinois Conference from about $640 
to $1,000 a month. 









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Dr. H. R. Heininger. Bishop of 
the Northwest Episcopal Area 

Reverend J. R. Bouldin, Con- 
ference Superintendent of the 
Naperville District. 


Left to right: Harold Erffmeyer, president; Mrs. Elmer Koerner, secre- 
tary; Mrs. Obed Albrecht: Walter Schall. treasurer; Marvin Hatwig, 
John Dahlberg. Officers of Finance: Anton J. Senty, chief steward; 
Joyce Lehman, church treasurer. Board of Trustees missing: Arlyn 
Shiffler, vice-president; Wilber C. Harr, Henry Moy. Officers of Finance 
missing: James Lyden, assistant chief steward; Bill Lankenau, financial 

USHERS, 1952 

First row, left to right: G. Meyer, J. Nicoson, A. Petersen, 
C. Biesterfield, R. McComb. Second row: C. McMartin, 
W. Broeker, W. Schall, V. Schaefer, H. Kittel. Third row: 
C. Albrecht, K. Schobert, R. Braun, O. Kreimier, M. Kil- 
gore, C. Thompson. Fourth row: C. Eggestein, K. Blake 
(forward), C. Classen, F. Enck, F. Margolf, A. Faulhaber, R. 
May (forward). 


Seated: Mrs. Frederick Toenniges, Mrs. Adam Keller, Mrs. J. R. Howe. 
Standing: Mrs. Melvin Gabel, Frederick Toenniges, Brian Bender, Paul 
Washburn, C. Clare Smith. 

The Prayer Chapel 

'dedicated to the Glory of God" 

November 25, 1956 








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Officers of Junior High Youth Fellowship: Steve Weidemier, President; 
Jane Carlson, Secretary; Lauren Moss, Treasurer. Missing, Mindy Schlue- 
ter, Vice-President. Senior High Youth Fellowship: Sue Yelverton, Sec- 
retarj r ; Karen Moss, President; Carol Sydow, Vice-President; Bob Shif- 
fler, Treasurer. Mr. Brian Bender, Minister Intern. 

Mr. Obed Albrecht, chairman of 
the 125th Anniversary Committee, 
wearing the Anniversary stole, 
which was chosen by Miss Doro- 
thea Kimmel and fashioned by 
Mrs. Lola Hornback. The stole 
was worn by a different lay per- 
son each Sunday for twenty Sun- 
days during the 125th celebration. 
Highlights of the history of First 
Church were related by the An- 
niversary Persons. 

Century-old parsonage — good example of gracious dignity of early Naper- 
ville architecture — plus some carefully chosen modern alterations. 

fit 9ff 


First Evangelical United Brethren Church as it looks today — 1962 

,v. N 








?*«,* 4 the gfitH 

Theft** <***. 
*»c& ffesTt- it no i 

Ftatt Church 

EYcm7»lieal United Brethren 

J>t. rW Washburn, .Uioato 

Invitations of Christ 

Mr. A. J. Senty, the present Chief Steward, reported that during 
1961 about 80 men had been organized into thirteen counting teams 
and faithfully recorded the contributions made each Sunday by our 
members to the program of First Church. The Stewards also solicited 
the commitments and financial support which will make possible the 
functioning of the 1962 budget, which is as follows: 

Miscellaneous Offering $ 500.00 

Easter Offering 1,200.00 

Christmas Offering 2,500.00 

Loose Offering 4,000.00 

Weekly Envelope Offerings 68,770.00 

Total $76,970.00 

At this point (lest we forget that we once had no bulletins because 
of cost, and that we closed the church three days a week to save 
money), it seems most appropriate to take a quick backward glance 
at the "Depression" budget of 1930-31: 

Pastor $2,700.00* 

Choir Director 720.00 

Organist 360.00 

Janitor 1,200.00 $4,980.00 


Organ and Music $ 250.00 

Printing & Stationery 425.00 

Taxes 100.00 

Light, water and coal 1,200.00 

Repairs 540.00 

Insurance 700.00 

Interest 1,000.00 

Miscellaneous 360.00 

Church School 1,350.00 

Reserve Fund 50.00 $5,975.00 


Missions and Benevolences $2,700.00* 

Presiding Elder 335.00* 

Religious Education 590.00* 

Bldg. Fund Principal $1,000.00 $4,625.00 

TOTAL $15,580.00 

Through the years, the name W. W. Spiegler has been inextricably 
bound up with the financial program of the church. In December 
28, 1958, not many months before his death, Mr. and Mrs. Spiegler 
were honored at the chancel. The following notation comes from the 
bulletin : 

"Mr. W. W. Spiegler is being honored today in our 
moment of Koinonia. He has served outstandingly as 
*Subject to Approval of Quarterly Conference 


our Financial Secretary for fifty years. We congratulate 
him for his record and uniqueness of service. We are 
confident that he has been richly blessed in the doing 
of his work. We want him to know we are grateful." 
Another person who has made a great contribution to the financial 
structure of the church is Joyce N. Lehman. As Church treasurer 
for twenty years, he has questioned or recommended various propo- 
sitions, always with a vision of operating "in the black." 

An interesting attitude of the congregation toward its budget has 
been strikingly illustrated twice — once during the depression and 
once in 1962. In depression days a motion was made in congrega- 
tional meeting to have our lay delegate ask conference for a reduction 
in our apportionment from $2700 to $2430.00. The motion was lost 
because a majority didn't want such a request to be made! In 1962, 
when the pledges did not completely cover the proposed budget, it 
was suggested that some of the mission funds be allocated to balance 
the budget. This too, was defeated. The congregation has a definite 
"Let's get busy" policy rather than a "Let's cut the budget" one! 
Individual gifts and special offerings nearly always fill the gap. 

One of the special offerings which has always been meaningful 
tc the congregation is the traditional White Gift offering. The gifts 
have been used for projects which are as diverse as the needs of 
people at home and abroad. Although several suggestions are usually 
given to the congregation as a whole, such as CARE, special mission 
projects, orphanages, old people's homes, Red Bird Hospital, and 
others, yet each Church School class may choose the destination for 
its gifts. The rising and falling status of our economy is typified in 
the amounts given. In the 1933 depression the gift was $292.71. 
Steadily the amount moved upward until 1945, when, for the first 
time, the thousand dollar mark was crossed — $1048.80. In 1946, the 
amount was more than doubled and $2881.38 was raised. In 1947, the 
two thousand dollar goal was again exceeded, but from then until 
1957, it was not reached. 

A beautiful family tradition was begun in the middle forties in 
connection with the White Gift Offering. At the Christmas program 
a representative of each class brings the envelope bearing the gift 
and lays it at the manger where the Holy Family is being portrayed 
by the family of the congregation having the newest baby boy. Some 
members of the original planning committee worried lest the baby 
cry and "spoil" the climax of the Christmas program. Others felt 
that the touch of realism would in no way detract, and the idea took 
root. (The babies have behaved marvelously well!) The family which 
probably started the tradition was Mr. and Mrs. Lester Stover and 
Bruce. Some of the other families who have had the youngest son 
in the congregation when Christmas rolled around were : the Samuel 
Foemmels, Walter Klasses, Richard Koehlers, Weston Spencers, Elwin 
Yoders, John Bells, Richard Winters, Robert Gridleys, James Swal- 
lows, Wesley Wilsons, and William Lankenaus. 

The traditions which are so meaningful to families and churches 
are harder to establish today than in bygone days. Already in 1957, 


Mr. Washburn commented on the mobility of our congregation. "The 
present membership is 993. In the past five years 330 members have 
been received, but our gain in membership is only 132. This means 
that avc must receive five members to gain two members . . . ." 

In January, 1962, when the total membership had risen to 1,081, 
Mr. Washburn wrote in his annual report, "The parade of persons 
through our congregation continues .... We must be more diligent 
at winning persons. We must be more diligent at assimilating people. 
We must be more diligent at dialogues of spiritual significance with 
people while they are with us. We must send people on their way 
with a genuine sense of continuing to belong to our fellowship . . . ,'j 
To make vivid what he had in mind, Pastor Washburn presented Mr. 
and Mrs. William Kilgus (who were moving away after having served 
First Church in many places of leadership) to the Annual Meeting 
as "Mr. and Mrs. Parade." They personified the continuous coming 
and going of our members. 

But while the membership becomes more and more fluid the build- 
ing itself stands solidly on the corner of Franklin and Center as it 
has for fifty years. The trustees, however, are always aware of the 
need to keep the building in excellent repair, and to modify and re- 
model as the times and needs change. At a special meeting of the con- 
gregation on February 13, 1956, it was voted to have the church fiscal 
year coincide with the calendar year and to approve a number of major 
changes in the interior of the building. All proposals won easily 
except that for the building of a Prayer Chapel. This was approved 
by such a narrow margin that the trustees brought new propositions 
to the Board later. This time their suggestions were accepted by a 
sizable majority. On April 8, 96 men went out to raise $20,000 toward 
the improvement fund. The men and their wives held a Victory Din- 
ner at the church that evening. 

It was a "man's world" on the trustee board at First 
Church for over a century, but since 1950 five women have 
served on the board: Mrs. Willard Muehl, Miss Ruth 
Gamer tsf elder, Mrs. Lester Schloerb, Mrs. Elmer Koerner, 
and Mrs. Obed Albrecht. In 1962, Mrs. Allie Stehr was 
elected Lay Leader (often called Class Leader), the first 
woman to hold this office in First Church's long history. 

The dedication was set for November 25, 1956. The proposed 
changes had been made and the areas outside the sanctuary took on 
a beauty which was comparable to that of the sanctuary. 

The church kitchen was made modern in every respect; the 
library was established in the old location of the pastor's study; 
part of the old parlor became a suite of church offices consisting of 
a reception room, a work room, the assistant pastor's study and the 


minister's study (all conveniently located immediately to the right 
of the weekday entrance to the church) ; an unusually warm and at- 
tractive social parlor was designed by a professional decorator ; and 
a prayer chapel was made beautiful through simplicity of design 
and richness of symbolism. 

The creation of the Prayer Chapel made possible the beginning 
of another church family tradition which so enriches both church 
and family. During the advent season, each Sunday afternoon at the 
Vesper Hour, 4:30-5:30, families may kneel at the chancel in the 
chapel while their pastor offers individual prayers for each member 
of the family and then serves them communion as an act of devotion 
to Christ who is the center of Christmas. The first " family sacra- 
ment" in the new chapel will remain forever a blessed memory to 
one family, for it was the last time they had the privilege of kneeling 
together at the altar as an unbroken family unit. 

Two pages in the Book of Remembrance deal with the memorial 
gifts given to the Prayer Chapel. They read as follows : 

GLORY OF GOD November 25, 1956, graced with 
ALTAR given in memory of Mrs. 8. J. Gamertsf elder ; 
CROSS AND CANDLESTICKS given in honor of Mr. 
and Mrs. John Manshardt ; BIBLE AND BIBLE 
STAND given in honor of Mrs. Elizabeth Wahl; 
PRAYER RAILS given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. 
Philip Pope ; CLERGY SEATS given in honor of The 
Reverend Charles Rodesiler ; HYMN BOOKS given in 
honor of The Reverend H. Creighton Powell; LEC- 
TERN given by friends; LECTERN ANTEPENDIA 
criven by children in the kindergarten; ALTAR VEST- 
MENT AND BAPTISMAL BOWL given by The Rever- 
end and Mrs. Theodore Rockwood. 
THE WINDOWS OF THE CHAPEL, four in number, 
presenting events in THE LIFE OF OUR LORD were 
dedicated November 25, 1956. The NATIVITY WIN- 
DOW was given by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Shisler. THE 
BAPTISM WINDOW was given in memory of The 
Reverend and Mrs. William Albrecht. THE CRUCI- 
FIXION WINDOW was given in honor of The Reverend 
and Mrs. E. D. Riebel. THE RESURRECTION WIN- 
DOW was given by friends of the church. 
In 1962, Professor W. H. Heinmiller and his family added Chapel 
Bibles in loving memory of Mrs. Heinmiller. The window lighting 
was given by the Reverend and Mrs. Leslie Gabel. 

That same Christmas, 1957, when the "family sacrament " was 
begun, First Church sent a large part of the White Gift Offering to 
CARE. A letter which reached the church in March said that the 
gift purchased almost eight tons of food for the needy people of the 
world. Food was distributed equally among Berlin, Colombia, Greece, 
India, Italy, Pakistan, and Germany. The letter stated, "Yours is 
a most tangible expression of brotherhood and will carry with it a 
message of hope to those assisted." 


In 1958 the Committee on Social Action appealed to the congre- 
gation again: "After World War II we were happy to gather cloth- 
ing for tlic destitute people of the world. That was in 1946 and 1947. 
The riot lies given them are long since in shreds ..." Since that time 
one or two big clothing drives a year have meant tons of clothing 

going on their way to the n ly of the world. The spring and fall 

drives for 1961 had Mr. Frank Singer and Dr. J. Rnskin Howe as 
chairmen. Professor Allen Buck is Chairman of the Social Action 
( 'onimittee. 

The six persons who have held membership 
in First Church for the longest period of time are: 
Mr. Judson Gamertsf elder (longest continuous 

membership), 1901 
Professor Thomas Finkbeiner, 1893 
hula Wagner Reik, 1894 
Bertha Schutz Shisler, 1899 
Frohnia Fink Stoner. 1899 
Mary Brown Feucht, 1899 

The world relationship ties are kept taut in Xaperville. In 1959 
the Denomination purchased a much-needed apartment house for 
missionaries home on furlough. On August 23 the new five-apartment 
brick building on the corner of Washington and School Streets was 
dedicated to Bishop Epp, with ceremonies attended by many members 
of First Church. This George Edward Epp Hall is a fitting tribute 
to Bishop Epp, who is one of the outstanding leaders in the field of 
missions in the Evangelical United Brethren Church. 

In the local congregation, in the same year, a tribute was paid to 
Dr. Washburn for his twenty-five years in the ministry. The congre- 
gation gave him a sterling silver bowl and many personal expressions 
of appreciation. In 1960 the congregation, which had begun the sup- 
port of Mr. and Mrs. John Dennis at the Inter- American University 
in Puerto Rico, sent the pastor to get first-hand information on the 
project. Gratefully he returned to share with members of his con- 
gregation the new and enriching experience which had been his, and 
to give them visual and verbal accounts of the work. 

This desire on the part of the congregation to have intellectual and 
spiritual enlightenment go hand-in-hand has been in evidence all 
through the history of First Church. The building of the modern 
Church School unit, the careful choosing of superintendents, depart- 
ment heads, and teachers all bear witness to this. The plans for a 
full-time director of Christian Education had been on the books for 
a long time. Quentin Lansman had served part-time in 1958. Mrs. 
Howard Mueller was full-time Educational Assistant from September 


1959-1961, and in September, 1961, Mrs. J. Ruskin Howe became full- 
time Director of Christian Education. 

Mrs. Howe is extraordinarily well-prepared to handle this position. 
Her work includes the total educational program of the church at 
all age levels. Mr. Henry Moy, who had twice been elected Church 
School Superintendent and had a thorough knowledge of the work- 
ings of the entire school, served as the competent first chairman of 
the newly organized Board of Christian Education. Dr. Arlo L. 
Schilling, who became President of North Central College during 
the Centennial year of 1960-61, is now serving as the Chairman of the 
Board. His ability as an educator and administrator makes him 
particularly well suited to this work. 

Mrs. Howe's vision of Christian Education places it within the 
context of the church. She says, "Through Christian Education we 
communicate the Christian faith. We think and plan in terms of the 
wholeness of personality. The church provides for the Christian nur- 
ture of individuals. We want our Christian Education program here 
at First Church to be such that it is always possible for the pupil, 
whatever age, to be confronted with God, through Christ, and to be 
given the opportunity to respond." This background will serve them 
in good stead as they grow older, for the Sunday morning services 
at First Church are real experiences of worship. 

Mechanical devices and material aids are merely adjuncts to the 
main purpose of the service and are used as inconspicuously as pos- 
sible. The flowers on the altar always add beauty to the service, 
never detract ; for their arrangement is done with skill and artistry 
by the Altar Guild, Mrs. Adam Keller, chairman. The men who serve 
as ushers are friendly and dignified. 

In speaking of the ushers, it is interesting to note a change in the 
philosophy of ushering. For many years, the church advocated the 
use of one team of ushers. During the pastorate of Dr. Schloerb, the 
ushers were organized and dressed uniformly in conventional English 
morning garb. With boutonnieres in place, they were an impressive 
addition to the service. 

There have been only three head ushers : Mr. George Wicks, Mr. 
William Ritzert, and Mr. Floyd Shisler. Mr. Shisler tendered his 
resignation as head usher on January 4, 1962. He had served as an 
usher in First Church for nearly fifty years and as head usher since 
1935. In a letter to Mr. Shisler the church expressed appreciation for 
the skillful handling of the ushering staff. They are all well trained 
in the gracious greeting of guests and careful seating of regular mem- 
bers. Mr. Shisler worked with the men from the time of the original 
ten to the latest arrangement of team ushering, where 70 men are 
involved. These teams function with captains and co-captains. Dur- 
ing 1961 five teams of ushers worked: one for early service and the 
other four alternated for late service. At the present time the co- 
chairmen are Gilbert Meyer and Willard Muehl. Mr. Willard Broeker 
lias served faithfully as captain of the firsl service since its beginning. 
Other team captains are Melvin Gabel, Marvin Ilartwig. Oliver 
Ki-eimeier. Walter Sehall. and Paul Uebele. 


Another change over the years is in the serving of the communion. 
All communicants came forward and knelt at the altar until 1927. 
At that time it was voted that they might stand at the altar instead 
of kneeling. During the pastorate of Reverend (Jrote it was re- 
commended that the communion symbols be passed through the con- 
gregation. The Ladies' Auxiliary bought a new larger table and a 
new communion set. In 1933 communion cup holders were installed 
in the pews. 

Caring for the communion cups and preparing the emblems have 
become acts of loving service, and many hands have shared in this 
preparation. At the present time Mrs. Joseph Beever is chairman of 
the Communion Stewards. 

The Communion at one time could be served only by licensed 
ministers, but that rule has been changed within recent years so that 
laymen may also serve. Communion is a solumn ritual of remem- 
brance. The pastor, the assistant pastors, and the servers of the em- 
blems are so much a part of the service that the thoughts of the wor- 
shipper may be fixed only upon the meaning of the memorial act. 

The young men who have served as the assistants to the ministers 
of First Church have added much to the morning worship service. 
Their willingness to become a true part of the congregation and its 
life has been a rewarding experience to the members of the church 
and to the young men themselves. At the present time First Church 
is enjoying its first intern minister. Brian Bender is regularly on 
the church staff for a year and is not attending Seminary during this 
time. He worked as an assistant pastor last year, and has been wel- 
comed gladly by the congregation. One of his many diverse duties is 
to assist in the worship service. 

The robed ministers ; the chancel with its high altar, eternal light, 
and liturgical hangings which follow the church calendar; the light- 
ing and extinguishing of the altar candles by an acolyte ; the beauty 
of anthem and organ — all these become a part of Divine Worship on 
Sunday morning. The sermon adds strength and inspiration to the 

The preaching ministry of Pastor Washburn has been an outstand- 
ing one. His appeal to his congregation is to accept the Divine Pre- 
sence so completely that their humanity is permeated through and 
through with the love of God. When this happens, their relationship 
to their fellowmen becomes one of understanding, love and goodwill. 
Human beings are of this world, but they are also capable of being 
instruments of the love of God. 

Dr. Washburn's sermons have both spiritual and intellectual 
depth. He, like some other ministers of First Church, is an avid reader 
and interpreter of contemporary theological thought. His sermons 
reflect the wealth of reading and contemplation he has done. To 
preach to a congregation in which there are perhaps a retired bishop 
and several ministers, a conference superintendent or two, college 
and seminary faculty and students, a laity with varied interests and 
talents but with unusual perception, has been a challenge through 
several decades to many of the ministers. 

Not only have these ministers been good preachers, they have 


been good pastors as well. They have been close to their people be- 
cause they have had the "open door" policy to their parishioners. 
Day or night, winter or summer, on vacation or at home, the people 
of the congregation have felt free to call their pastor. In these last 
years, pastoral counseling has taken on a new significance, and Mr. 
Washburn has added much of this to his schedule. 

To the aged, the sick, the bereaved, the pastors of First Church 
have offered comfort and solace beyond the mind of man to compre- 
hend — only with the warming of a despairing spirit at the fire of their 
God-given empathy can this have meaning. 

Perhaps the pastors have been close to their people, also, because 
they have all been human, even as their people are human. They have 
worked beyond their strength many times. They have known dis- 
appointment, discouragement, sorrow. They have become involved 
in too much work at conference and at home. They have taken on too 
many committee chairmanships, just as their people do. And yet 
the bond of serving to the utmost binds pastor and people together 
in common understanding. 

When Miss Mary Washburn became Mrs. Ronald Smith 
in 1958 at the altar of First Church, she was the first daugh- 
ter of the parsonage to be married by her father in the pres- 
ent sanctuary. 

This feeling that service must go beyond the bounds of our own 
doorstep is typified by Mr. Washburn. He is widely involved in the 
general church and conference. Some of his involvements include— - 
In the general Evangelical United Brethren Church : 
the general Council of Administration 
the Commission on Church Federation and Union (Ex- 
ecutive Committee) 
the Board of Trustees of Evangelical Theological Sem- 
inary (Executive Committee) 
the Board of Trustees of College-Seminary Library 
the Board of Directors of North Central College Alum- 
ni Association. 
In the Illinois Conference : 

the Council of Administration (Executive Committee) 
the Board of Trustees (President) 

the Committee on Public Relations with Colleges and 
Seminaries (Chairman) 
The designation of Mr. Washburn's position on the Commission 
on Church Federation and Union is a sign that the Evangelical United 
Brethren Church (which has been a great "uniter" as this history 
shows) is not through yet. The ecumenical movement is gaining 
momentum daily, for a united Church must bear witness to a world 
which is wavering morally, atomically, and spatially. There must 


be solidity somewhere — and the united Church must furnish it. Jet 
planes make it possible for Mr. Washburn to go far and to attend 
many meetings, but the purpose is the same as that which creaked 
along with Bishop Seybert in his old wagon more than a century ago. 
Meeting, praying, preaching, dedicated men have inspired 
the congregations of First Church. The cultural patterns have 
changed and the church has been a part of this cultural development. 
From the day of prolonged evangelistic endeavor with emphasis on 
personal salvation, through the spread of the powerful social gospel, to 
the present emphasis which comes to focus in the preaching of Pastor 
Washburn. First Church is still searching for the way God speaks to 
man. and how man must respond. The sermons-in-series of Mr. Wash- 
burn illumine this search with themes like: 

Dialogues and Worship — sermons to vitalize worship 
Involvement in Crucifixion — sermons on the atonement 
Involvement in Proclamation — sermons on mission 
The Revelation of St. John — sermons on a Biblical book 
The Church Apart — sermons on the uniqueness of the 

Born for What — sermons on the incarnation 
The Celebrating Church — seven sermons emphasizing 
Communion, Baptism. Confirmation. Matrimony, 
Ordination. Requiem, and Worship as Celebration 

With the realization that the thinking of a congregation is molded 
and brought to spiritual fruition, in part at least, through the think- 
ing of the preacher, there can be no better way to epitomize First 
Church today than to close this history with a portion of one of the 
sermons preached by Dr. Washburn. This is a tribute of appreciation 
from his people to their pastor : 

Introductory portion of 6th sermon in series) 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday 
and today and forever. 
Hebrews xiii . 8 
Revised Standard Version 
Introduction — 

The Sunday mornings of this early autumn have found us witnessing 
a parade ... a parade of declarations about our Lord Jesus Christ . . . 
a parade of declarations made by men with a mind to adore Him. 
The parade of declarations comes to conclusion this morning with a 
line from the letter to the Hebrews. The line is the eighth verse in the 
thirteenth chapter. It reads. 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday 
and today and forever. 
Before turning to this magnificent declaration, I want to speak, and 
I will speak ... in brief compass, to be sure . . . my personal testimony 
about our Lord Jesus Christ. For purposes didactic . . . and for 
purposes poetic . . . my testimony is arranged in alliteration. 
Our Lord Jesus Christ is a present. We have not earned 


him. We have not deserved him. He has come to us . . . 
all unmerited ... all unexpected ... a gift from God. 
He is a present. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a presence. He was in eternity 
before the foundations of the world. He was in Pales- 
tine once in time. But since His resurrection He is in 
every faithful situation as a presence. He said, "Lo, 
I am with you always" and I take him at his word. He is 
a presence. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a pretender ... a claimant for 
the throne from which our lives are governed. While he 
does not violate our right to resist him, he is constantly 
laying claim to his right to govern us as citizens of his 
kingdom of grace. He is a pretender. 
Our Lord Jesus Christ is a pressure. With loving 
scrutiny he judges us. His judgments pressure us. With 
lovingkindness and tender mercies he constrains us in all 
our thoughts ... in all our words ... in all our deeds. 
His lovingkindness and tender mercies pressure us. He 
is a pressure. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a primate . . . the person rank- 
ing first in his one holy catholic church. He expresses 
himself through the congregations where he is the first 
person. He has so arranged his primacy that where he is 
not the first person there is no church. He is a primate. 
Our Lord Jesus Christ is a problem ... a problem be- 
cause we do not know him fully. We can be sure, how- 
ever, that what we will yet find in him will not be 
contradictory to what we have already found. 
All this Christ is to me ... a present from God . . . 
a presence here ... a pretender for authority over me 
... a pressure upon my thoughts, words, and deeds . . . 
the ranking person in his church . . . and a problem. 
These are my thoughts when I own him as savior and 
Lord. And such is he when he 

... is the same yesterday and 
today and forever. 




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Blanchard, Rut'us. History of DuPage County, 1882. 

Breyfogel, S. C. Evangelical Landmarks, 1887. 

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Quaife, Milo M. Chicago's Highways, Old and New, 1923. 

Richmond, C. W. History of DuPage County, 1857. 

Roberts, Clarence N. North Central College, 1961. 

Schwab. J. G. and Thoren, II. 8. History of the Illinois Conference 

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History of Camp Seager, Edward Himmel, 1958. 

How Mission Bands Began and Grew in the Evangelical Church, Mrs. 
E. C. Basom, (n.d.). 

Illinois Conference, The Evangelical Church — Centennial, 1844-1944. 

Jubilee Church Book of First Evangelical Church, 1919. 

Naperville Centennial, 1831-1931. 

Pamphlet of tin Golden Wedding Celebration of A. A. Smith and His 
Wife, 1833. 

Program of Dedication of Church School Building, First Evangelical 
Church, 1925. 

Souvenir of the Naperville Home Coming, 1917. 

Story of a Sunday School, Beulah Tillotson Dwinell, 1924. 



(Often containing' quotations from "Der Christliche Botschafter" 
and "The Evangelical Messenger"). 

Alspangh, Hannah Ditzler, History of the Church of the Evangelical 
Association of Naperville, 1918. 

Buck, Mary 8., Reminiscences, (written for centennial of Evangelical 
Churches in Naperville), 1937. 

Finkbeiner, Bertha, Church Pageant (also written for above centen- 
nial), 1937. 

Goetz, Mrs. 0. A., Historical Record for Centennial — Harvest Home 
Celebration at Grace Evangelical Church in 1937. 

Hildreth, Fanny Smith, Red Plush Album — A Family Chronicle 
(written in 1943, including excerpts from many journals, 
diaries, and letters of various members of the Smith family). 

Hoesch, Lydia, History of First Evangelical Church (written as a 
History Seminar paper under Dr. C. J. Attig, 1934. 

Huelster, William, Excerpts from his diary compiled by Ada Huelster 


Various and Sundry — Off and On from 1868 down to now — both 
English and German. 

Class Records 

Church Bulletins, 1933-1960 

Minutes of Annual Congregational Meetings, 1961-1962 

Pastoral Reports 

Records of Congregational Meetings 

Records of Quarterly and Annual Conferences 

Sunday School Record Books 

Trustee Record Books 

(Read and translated from the German, when necessary, by 
Ruth Gamertsfelder, assisted by Gustav Dietz, Elizabeth Wahl, 
and Olive Kluckholm. Ruth has distinguished herself as an 
indefatigable researcher, spending uncountable hours with 
records and in vaults — far beyond the call of duty!) 



Barrett, Helen Gamertsfelder Lehman, Joyce 

Bender, Brian Lneben, Helen 

Broeker, Mrs. Carl Manshardt, Mr. and Mrs. John 

Diet/. Gustav Muehl, Mr. and Mrs. Willard 

Donini. Mrs. E. E. Pope, Mrs. Philip 

Eggestein. Mrs. Ethel Rail. Mr. and Mrs. E. E. 

Eller, Paul H. Rinehart. Freda 

Finkbeiner. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Schloerb, Mr. and Mrs. Lester 

George, E. F. Schutte, John 

Hallwachs, Mrs. Shisler, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd 

Heinmiller, W. H. Spiegler, Milton 

Hoeseh. Vernon Spreng, Ethel 

Koerner. Elmer Stoos. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 

Klingbeil, William Thornton, Vic 

Krug, Mrs. Jessie Wahl, Mrs. Elizabeth 

Lane, Betty Schloerb Zimmermann, Paul 


January 7 — Proclamation of the Celebration 

February 4 — Anniversary Mission Festival 

The Reverend Lowell Gess, B.D., M.D., Medical 
Missionary to Sierra Leone. Mission Preacher 

February 25 — 50th Anniversary of The Dedication of the 

March 11 — Anniversarv visit of the congregation's bishop 

The Reverend H. R. Heininger, Ph.D., D.D., LL.D., 
Bishop of the Northwestern Area of The Evangelical 
United Brethren Church, Preacher 

April 29 — Anniversary Confirmation Service — Class of 1962 

May 19 — Anniversary Banquet 

Student Union Building of North Central College 
Music by the Centralaires of Indiana Central College 

October 3 — Presentation Banquet for First Church Historj- 
"A Time for Remembrance," 
by Miss Elizabeth Wiley and 
Mrs. Mildred Eigenbrodt 

October 7 — Anniversary Celebration Finale 
Exhibit of historical artifacts 
Open House of our renovated church building 

125th Anniversary Committee 

Obed Albrecht, Chairman, Mrs. Robert Sckroeder, Secretary, Mrs. 

Hettie Domm, Mrs. Mildred Eigenbrodt, Harold Erffmeyer. Mrs. 

•I. R. Howe. Miss Dorothea Kimmel, Mrs. Elmer Koerner, Russell 

Lovingier, Harold Riebel, August Ritzert, A. J. Senty, -larvis Spreng, 

Marvin Thompson, Miss Elizabeth Wiley. Paul Washburn. Paul 




(Prepared by Professor E. F. George) 

1847 3rd Annual Session Bishop Seybert, Chairman 

1849 5th Annual Session Bishop Seybert, Chairman 

1852 8th Annual Session Bishop Seybert, Chairman 

1864 20th Annual Session Bishop J. J. Esher, Chairman 

1867 23rd Annual Session Bishop Long, Chairman 

1876 32nd Annual Session Bishop J. J. Esher, Chairman 

1880 36th Annual Session Bishop J. J. Esher, Chairman 

1885 41st Annual Session Bishop T. Bowman, Chairman 

1894 50th Annual Session Bishop Wm. Horn, Chairman 

1901 57th Annual Session Bishop S. C. Breyfogel, Chairman 

1915 71st Annual Session Bishop Thomas Bowman, Chairman 

1920 76th Annual Session Bishop S. C. Breyfogel, Chairman 

1927 83rd Annual Session ..Bishop S. C. Breyfogel and Bishop Maze 

Merger of the Illinois Evangelical Association and the 

United Evangelical Annual Conferences. 

Merger service in Pfeiffer Hall. 

1933 89th Annual Session 

Bishop L. H. Seager, Grace and First Churches 

1944 100th Annual Session Centennial 

Bishop G. E. Epp, Grace and First Churches 

1953 109th Annual Session 

Bishop E. W. Praetorius, Grace and First Churches 

Merger of the Evangelical and the United Brethren 
Annual Conferences forming the Illinois Conference 
of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. 
1957 113th Annual Session 

Bishop Reuben Miller, Grace and First Churches 

1959 115th Annual Session 

Bishop H. R. Heininger, Grace and First Churches 

1960 116th Annual Session 

Bishop R. Miller, Chairman, Grace and First Churches 

1962 118th Annual Session Bishop H. R. Heininger, Pfeiffer Hall 

In addition three sessions of the General Conference 
have been held here in Naperville. 
1859 12th General Conference — the first General Conference held 

in the West. The last General Conference attended by Bishop 

Seybert. From this meeting he started, by wagon, on his 

long journey eastward ending with his death Jan. 4, 1860. 
1871 15th General Conference. At this conference the question of 

merger with the Methodists was brought up and voted on. 

However, the vote, a majority of one, was thrown out as 

inconclusive by Bishop J. J. Esher. 
1942 33rd General Conference. This conference voted for the merger 

of Evangelical and United Brethren Churches. 



Zion Evangelical Church 


Jacob Boas 


S. A. Tobias 


M. Hauert 


M. Stamm 


L. Einsel 


J. C. Kiest 

J. Lutz 


S. Dickover 


Frank Hoffert 


J. Kuechel 

Daniel Kern 


H. Rohland 


A. Stroh 


W. P. Walker 

C. Lintner 


J. G. Kleinknecht 


G. A. Blank 


V. Forkel 


C. Copp 


C. A. Paeth 


G. A. Blank 


L. B. Tobias 


C. Lintner 


W. Schmus, P. E. 


C. Copp 


H. Hintze 

S. Dickover 


J. Meek 


C. Augenstein 


W. C. Frey 

G. Messner 


J. B. Elf rink 


C. Hall 


V. Vaubel 

H. Welti 


F. F. Jordan 

R. Ragatz 


W. F. Klingbeil 


S. A. Tobias 


G. M. Hallwachs 

C. A. Schnacke 


B. Appier 

Naperville College Chapel 

M. Hauert 


C. S. Condo 


J. Riegel 


C. Schmucker 

G. Franzen 


W. W. Shuler 

J. Trombaur 


W. H. Bucks 


A. G. Blank 


H. Messner 

C. C. Pfeil 


W. H. Bucks 


J. P. Kremer 


S. C. Schmucker 

J. Gibeis 


E. L. Kiplinger 


W. Strasberger 


T. W. Woodside 

H. Hintze 


S. F. Entorf 


S. Dickover 


H. A. Kramer 

J. G. Kleinknecht 


W. H. Messerschmidt 


J. Schneider 


H. A. Kramer 

M. Stamm 


H. J. Bittner 


C. Augenstein 


W. A. Schutte 


J. Himmel 


W. B. Rilling 


W. Goessle 


G. A. Manshardt 

First Evangelical Church 




A. Schutte 




F. Jordan 




J. Boelter 




W. Schloerb 



Wm. E. Grote 



Dewey R. Eder 


Paul A. Washburn 






The following list has been verified, as far as possible, by reference 

to the local Quarterly Conference Records, membership rolls, Illinois 

Conference Journals and to Schwab and Thoren's "History of the Illinois 

Conference". Notable gaps are due to inability to find source material. 

Note especially the period before 1870. Many college students have 

answered the disciplinary questions at our Quarterly Conference meetings. 

Many of these did not actually belong to our church or conference, and the 

results of the examination were sent to their home pastor or to their 

Annual Conference. 


Neitz, Wilhelm 

Hoffman, Samuel 


Hansing, Friedrich 

Landwehr, F. 

Knoble, G. C. 

Nicolai, G. W. 

Stockhowe, Charles 

Pflueger, R. 

Trapp, William 

Pieper, H. 

Umbach, Simon L. 


Mertz, A. 


Einsle, E. D. 

Neitz, F. C. 

Caton, W. 


Fidder, G. 

Dryer, C. 



Staffeldt, C. 

Unangst, Chas. 


Klipphart, G. G. 


Boetlinger, J. M. 

Miller, S. H. 

Droeger, J. M. 

Vossler, Jacob 

Gasser, F. 


Spaeth, Philip 

Scher . . . , F. S. 

Stoebler, Christian 

Siewert, George 


Arlen, Henry 

Tesch, H. 

Bunte, August 


Schluter, H. C. 

Kletzing, H. F. 

Schutte, W. A. 

Koch, H. 


Daran, John 

Kordes, H. 

Finkbeiner, Samuel 

Luehring, W. 

Jegi, G. F. 

Murdock, J. 

Kreisel, J. J. 

Wing, L. M. 

Raney, Elton 


Grumbine, Henry 

Reichert, Friedrich 

Haeffle, A. 

Rilling, James 

Neuman, C. (or Nauman) 

Tayama, H. T. 

Paeth, C. A. 


Boelter, August 

Spaeth, G. 

Finkbeiner, Thomas 


Reinhart, J. F. 

Moehl, S. W. 

Spins, S. F. 

Schumacher, F. P. 

Ziegler, J. F. 


Harbes, G. J. 


Kraushaar, Friedrich 


Osterland, H. J. 

Paul, Washington 

Umbreit, S. J. 


Bunte, John 


Killian, W. C. 

Daescher, F. 


Miller, Ezra (not ordained) 

Forkel, William 

Orth, L. L. 

Fuehrer, C. 

Zahl, Arthur 

Hoffman, Julius 


Osterland, J. W. 



Stoll, R. C. 

1899 Mithfissle, Newton 
Umbach, M. 

1900 Behner, F. G. (NWC 
Donde, Ferdinand 
Kelhoefer, Ernest 
Meyer, S. E. 
Ranck, Clarence E. 

1901 Beese, S. 
Brockmiller, John 
Byas, Arthur 
Dagenkolb, G. D. 
Domm, J. S. 

1901 Hallwachs, W. C. 
Haman, J. W. 
Linge, Bro. 
Pentecoff, Oscar 
Schulke, W. 

1902 Courier, G. F. 
Flora, Elmer S. 
Kletzing, H. F. 
Powell, H. Creighton 
Richter, William 
Sorg, C. L. 

Spaar, J. H. 
Staffeld, D. 

1903 Bohner, F. G. 

1904 Kesselring, Max 
Meyer, F. B. 
Ott, E. 

Reep, S. N. 
Schaeffer, H. B. 
Stauffacher, J. W. 

1905 Feucht, J. G. 
Kaiser, E. E. 
Oldt, W. B. 
Plapp, E. E. 
Rife, E. E. 
Schneider, J. F. D. 
Schuster, W. H. 

1906 Bergsthaler, Herbert 
Frank, Chester 
Mayer, Paul S. 


Straub, Harry E. 

Reux, A. 


Goehring, Levi 

Schrammel, Henry 


Glaser, E. L. 

Loose, R. V. 

Werner, Ed 


Hagemeier, A. G. 

Herman, Mentor 


Gackler, C. F. 

Schwab, Ralph K. 


Buckrop, R. N. 

Ramus, H. S. 


Frankhauser, C. R. 


Stauffer, W. A. 

Stroebel, F. O. 


Schwab, Paul 


Laubenstein, Webster 

Martin, Daniel 

Noerenberg, Hugo 

Rickert, C. Hobert 

Stopfer, Lewis 


Marti, Truman 

Young, Edward 


Giese, Paul 

Weinert, Lawrence J, 


Neuman, Harvey 


Rickert, Marvin 


Schaefer, John F. 


Wagner, Gerald 


Weishaar, Martin 


Shaffer, John 


Eigenbrodt, John 

Galow, Clyde 


Cook, Herman 

Schendel, Harold 


Reinhart, Bruce 

Riebel, John 


Attig, Charles 

Bruns, Robert 

Stehr, Truman 


Snider, Theodore 


Rockwood, Theodore 



I. Missionaries who were originally members of First Church, or who in 
their college and seminary days have been a part of our congregation 
prior to entering missionary service under our denominational Board of 

Missionary Area of Service Year Commissioned 

Barrett, Helen Gamertsf elder Japan 1950 

Bauernfeind, Susan 
Bruns, Robert 
Bruns, Mrs. Robert 
Butzbach, Mrs. Laura Minch 
Galow, Clyde 
Hoffmann, Harold 
Kilhoefer, Ernest 
Ranck, Mrs. Anna Kammerer 
Ranck, Clarence B. 
Ranck, Elmira 
Reinhart, Chester 
Umbreit, S. J. 
Senn, William 
Senn, Mrs. William 

II. Persons who have gone from First Church to serve in areas of the 
Christian world mission with other than appointment by the Evangelical 
United Brethren Church: 

Eder, Dewey 
Eder, Mrs. Dewey 
Gamertsfelder, Mary 
Gocker, Marie 
Iwan, Clara 
Stauffacher, J. W. 
Tholin, Linne 
Tholin, Mrs. Linne 
Tayama, Henry 
Woodside, T. W. 
Woodside, Mrs. T. W. 





































South America 
















by Miss Wilma Schell 

in memory of her mother, Mrs. Maude Schell 
REPOSITORY — September 20, 1953 

by their children 

in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Arends 


CHANCEL March is. 1951 

(Altar, Sacred Desks. Symbols, Lights and Colors) 
by his nephew and niece. Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Lang 
in memory of the Reverend Edward E. Domm 
WICKS MEMORIAL ORGAN — January 4, 1953 

in memory of George and Emma Wicks 
PULPIT BIBLE — August 29, 1954 

by his wife, Mrs. Edith Nonnamaker 

and his daughter, Mrs. H. S. Van Kannel 
in memory of the Reverend M. E. Nonnamaker 
CHIMES IX THE ORGAN — April 13, 1958 
in memory of 

The Reverend William Albrecht 
Mrs. May Goldspohn 
Mrs. Anna Haas 
Mrs. Sarah Jordan 
Mrs. Esther Kimmel 
Mr. Fred Lueben 
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Oswald 
Mr. Philip Pope 
Mr. and Mrs. William Ritzert 
The Reverend John C. Schaefer 
Mr. Richard Schloerb 
Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Travis 
in honor of 

Mr. and Mrs. Guv Oliver 
PIANO IN THE CHANCEL - - December 25, 1958 
by Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Thompson 
in memory of Mrs. Edith Mabel Powell and 
Mrs. Clara Louise Thompson 
FESTIVAL FRONTAL — December 25, 1958 
by his family and friends 

in memory of Harold John Eigenbrodt, Ph.D. 
PACE [N BOOK — 1959 

by members of the Sigma Zeta Class and Immanuel Bible Class 
in memory of William W. Spiegler 

in front of church bearing the name First Evangelical United 

Brethren Church by Mr. and Mrs. Anton J. Senty 
in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Korf and 
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Senty 
by Mrs. H. S. Van Kannel 

in memory of her mother, Mrs. M. E. Nonnamaker 

by Mr. and Mrs. Carl Broeker 

in memory of Misses Ella and Nettie Din* 

to be given in memory of Miss Ruth Klingbeil 



The following persons and families made special contributions to 
underwrite the publication of this history: 

Mr. and Mrs. Clem F. Albrecht 
Mr. and Mrs. Obed W. Albrecht 
The William Albrecht Family 
Dr. and Mrs. John R. Bouldin 
Mr. and Mrs. Clyde A. Boysen 
Mr. and Mrs. Willard W. Broeker 
The Daniel K. Butler Family 
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Cowan 
Mr. and Mrs. John O. Dahlberg 
Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Eigenbrodt 
Dr. H. J. Eigenbrodt 
Dr. and Mrs. Frank F. Enck 
Dr. and Mrs. C. E. Erffmeyer 
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Erffmeyer 
Miss Ruth Gamertsfelder 
Professor and Mrs. E. F. George 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred R. George 
Miss Pearl Goodge 
Dr. and Mrs. Wilber C. Harr 
The Marvin Hartwig Family 
Dr. and Mrs. Harold W. Henning 
Vernon S. Hoesch Family 
Mrs. Irene Hofert and Wilma 
The Dan H. Hoffman Family 
The A. B. Hooton Family 
Mr. and Mrs. Hope H. Horman 
The John Hornback Family 
Dr. and Mrs. J. Ruskin Howe 
The Adam Keller Family 

Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Koerner 
Mr. and Mrs. Joyce N. Lehman 
The Jack Lyden Family 
The Richard I. Manning Family 
Mr. and Mrs. John E. Manshardt 
The Gilbert Meyer Family 
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Moss 

and Family 
Mr. and Mrs. August Ritzert 
Mrs. Martha A. Schaefer 
Mrs. Lena Schall and Walter 
The Arlo Schilling Family 
The George Schindel Family 
Mr. and Mrs. Lester Schloerb 
The A. J. Senty Family 
The Arlyn D. Shiffler Family 
Mr. and Mrs. Floyd A. Shisler 
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Shultz 
Harvey and Ruth Siemsen 
The Milton Spiegler Family 
The Reverend and Mrs. W. A. Stauffer 
Mrs. Irvin D. Stehr and Sons 
Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Stibbe 
The Marvin Thompson Family 
The Frederick Toenniges Family 
Paul M. Uebele Family 
Mrs. Elizabeth Wahl 
The Paul Washburn Family 
The Paul F. Zimmermann Family 



We have been "third personish" as long as we can. The last sheet 
has been handed to the typist. We know what yet must be done in 
way of proof-reading, revision, and assembly. But the digging into 
old volumes, old letters, old diaries, old records, the searching for 
pictures (and then for someone to identify the people), the endless 
telephoning, the collecting of anecdotes and incidents to be found 
only in the memory of members, and the checking' and re-checking 
arc done. 

This has been a labor of love. Someone who read the manuscript 
said, "Didn't you ever have any difficulties in the church which need 
to be brought to light?" One of the committee answered, "They 
shouldn't have chosen two such incurable optimists to write the his- 
tory if that side was to be emphasized!" 

Oh, we know there have been times when individuals, or commit- 
tees, or segments of the congregation have not been in complete 
accord. The church is made up of human beings, after all. But from 
the long overview of the church, we know that love and warmth and 
oneness mark the heartbeats of the group. We as a congregation have 
worked together on a multiude of projects. We have rejoiced together 
as our children were at the altar for baptism, for confirmation, for 
marriage vows. We have mourned together at the loss of loved ones. 
We have taken Holy Communion together. We have worshipped 
together. This is our history. 

We are aware of the "humanness" of the writers and searchers. 
We have interpreted the place of First Church in the community, 
in the general church, and in the world, through eyes of appreciation 
for its life and history. Thank you all for giving us a bigger job than 
we ever dreamed it could be, but one which has enriched our lives, 
even as we hope it may enrich yours. 

Betty, Mildred, Ruth, and Jim